British holidaymakers warned of 'record-breaking temperatures' in Europe this summer as Cyprus issues RED weather alert

​The Acropolis in Greece
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 18/06/2024

- 17:44

It follows extreme weather in Majorca and Austria plus concerns in France ahead of the Paris Olympics

Heatwaves across mainland Europe and the Mediterranean are causing issues for both tourists and residents.

There has been the earliest-ever heatwave alert for Greece, plus alerts in Cyprus, Turkey and France.

There has also been concern about incidents of severe flooding in Majorca and Austria which have grounded flights and caused traffic chaos.

The unseasonal heatwave, caused by southerly winds bringing heat and dust from North Africa, has prompted authorities to shut schools and nurseries.

Tourists in Greece cool down\u200b

Tourists in Greece cool down


\u200bThe Acropolis in Greece

The Acropolis in Greece


Meteorologist Panos Giannopoulos told the Greek state television channel, ERT: "This heatwave will go down in history.

"In the 20th century, we never had a heatwave before June 19. We have had several in the 21st century, but none before June 15."

Meanwhile, in Turkey, temperatures are around eight to 12 degrees higher than the seasonal norm, leading to wildfires spreading to Olympos Resort in Antalya’s Kumluca, where wooden houses burned within a matter of hours.

In Mallorca, water cascaded from the ceiling and planes were grounded on flooded runways at the airport of Palma as heavy rains swept over the popular tourist destination. The storm brought all activity to a halt at Son Sant Joan airport, Spain's third-biggest, due to the "impossibility of operating safely", operator Aena AENA.MC said in a statement.


A flooded car park

Vehicles parked in a flooded car park after heavy rains, at Palma de Mallorca airport

Carmen Estaban Sanchez via Reuters

\u200bThe Paris Olympics logo

The Paris Olympics logo


Elsewhere, a report by environmental groups said heat levels during the Paris Olympics could pose health risks for competitors.

The report, titled "Rings of Fire: Heat Risks at the 2024 Paris Olympics" said: "The fact that the Olympics will take place during high summer means that the threat of a devastating hot spell is a very real one."

Heat and humidity were also a major issue at the Tokyo Olympics, where athletes, even those well-used to training in hot climates, found it extremely tough going.

British men's rugby sevens player Jamie Farndale warned of the dangers athletes could face due to the heat, adding: "What we do is push ourselves to our limits, and if we have to do so in conditions that are unsafe I don't think the athlete would hold back."

\u200bJamie Farndale

Jamie Farndale


University of Reading meteorologist Rosie Mammatt told The Telegraph: "We are already seeing very hot temperatures in the Mediterranean basin, and it looks like the summer could provide some more record-breaking temperatures.

"Sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic have been extremely high for a significant period of time, which has been influencing the weather we are getting.

"This will continue to affect temperatures and precipitation over Europe this summer."

The Foreign Office has not updated its travel warnings to Greece, Turkey, Cyprus or Spain as a result of the recent extreme weather patterns.

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