This is how our correspondents deal with the heat of southern Europe: ‘Here you get drunk’

This is how our correspondents deal with the heat of southern Europe: ‘Here you get drunk’

Anouk Bon in Rome

“It’s intensely hot this week,” Italy correspondent Anouk Bon begins. “Even when it stays under 40 degrees, the humidity makes it intoxicating. Think twice before going outside.”

Sometimes you have to work. When we talk to Bonn today, she’s reporting in Tuscany. “Where there is shade, I seek it. I drink a lot and wear linen clothes.”

Little hunger

No pastas on the menu, but salads. “I’m not very hungry now.” Espresso consumption has been significantly reduced.

Where a female messenger sometimes throws away emails on the balcony, she now does it at home. “With the fan on or the air conditioning on. I don’t want to leave it running all day, but I do for a few hours a day now.”

Meteorologist Maurice Middendorp of Poenradar says that the temperature peak in Italy will arrive today or tomorrow. Sardinia is the hottest place in the country: “Both days the temperature seems to be 46 degrees.”

This is not an absolute record: “On August 11, 2021, a temperature of 48.8 degrees was also measured in Sicily. Previously, this was not recognized as an official record by the World Meteorological Organization, but it happened last night.”

Yesterday, the temperature in the Spanish region of Andijar, located in Andalusia, reached 44.8 degrees. This is no longer achieved today, says Middendorp van Buienradar. “The worst has moved somewhat to the northeast, to Catalonia. Inland near Barcelona it may still be 42.”

Richard Hogenkamp in Madrid

Reporter Richard Hoogenkamp says the weather is hottest in his hometown of Madrid between 5pm and 6pm. “The strength of the sun and the temperature are higher earlier in the day, but the heat is retained between buildings. At the end of the afternoon, I stay indoors, with the air conditioning on.”

Hogenkamp also has to take to the streets for his work, hot or not. I always walk on the shady side of the street.

In the video below, Hogenkamp previously spoke about “desertification” in Spain due to climate change.

Heat protocol is in effect in Madrid, as it is in many other places at the moment. “The municipality is constantly warning people: wear a cap or hat, and drink at least two liters of water.” While working with deadlines, the reporter sometimes ignores those tips a little: “When I get home I suddenly realize how dry my mouth is and that I have to refuel more often.”

Hogenkamp doesn’t want to leave the air conditioner on at night. “It’s going to be about 27 degrees in the bedroom. I’m not really resting. Running is also a bit of a chore for that reason now. I don’t feel like doing it in the morning, and it’s warm again early on.”

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The “warm air bubble,” as Middendorp describes it, is slowly moving towards Greece and Turkey. The highest temperatures are expected there this weekend. “In southwestern Turkey, below Izmir, the temperature can then reach 45 degrees. The same is true for the area around Athens in the interior of Greece.”

Olaf Queens in Istanbul

Correspondent Olaf Koens lives in Istanbul, Turkey, partly in Europe. The temperature there is now much lower, with a maximum this weekend of around 35 degrees. But still: “It’s hot in here.”

Coens has been a correspondent in the Middle East for years, and he’s also a seasoned hotspotter. “Of course you condition yourself, you have to.” He organizes appointments early in the morning and in the afternoon. “I’m always looking for shade outside. I don’t leave the house for things I can also arrange online.”

And further: “My grandmother always said: Water, water, water and the rest will come later. They also don’t see me walking around in shorts or a T-shirt. I wear a long-sleeved shirt. Linen, a little cool.”

point of contention

Queens does not monitor weather apps with the goal of coming up with the next peak. “These apps are the main source of contention between my wife and me,” he says, laughing. “She watches everything.” and he? “I stick my head out the window, see what the weather is like, and head out the door. I’m doing very well by myself.”

When it gets really hot, the Queens have one last ultimate cooling trick up their sleeve: “I make a sort of half turban out of a T-shirt. You can then pour a pint of water on it. It drips a little, but it cools you down deliciously.”

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