Weather madness in April: The weekend began with summer temperatures

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It was already around 25 degrees from early Saturday afternoon in some places. This is considered the meteorological-climatological limit for a “summer day”. The highest temperature in the Geosphere Austria measuring network was 29.5 degrees at the University of Innsbruck. It will remain summery on Sunday, with afternoon temperatures between 24 and 29 degrees. Occasionally, even 30 degrees are possible.

Earliest heatwave day?
That would be the earliest heatwave day (at least 30 degrees) in Austria’s measurement history, and it would be ten days earlier than the previous record. The earliest 30 degrees so far was on April 17, 1934, in Salzburg. The second earliest date for a hot day in Austria was April 20, 2018, in Salzburg.

In any case, the daily peaks this weekend were around ten to 15 degrees above the typical values for early April. The highest temperatures measured in April are around 30 degrees in all federal states, and almost all of them are at the end of the month.

Due to global warming, very warm weather conditions are occurring earlier and earlier. Even in average years, the 30-degree mark is now reached much earlier than a few decades ago. “In the recent past, in the 1991-2020 climate period, the first 30 degrees in Austria were reached on average on May 19, with the typical fluctuation ranging from early May to early June,” said Alexander Orlik, a climatologist at GeoSphere Austria, “In the 1961-1990 climate period, the 30-degree mark was reached on average on May 30, with a typical fluctuation from mid-May to mid-June.”

Over 25 degrees in April
In parts of Switzerland, the summer mark of 25 degrees was also broken by midday. MeteoSwiss reported that 26.1 degrees Celsius were measured in Basel-Binningen, reported by the Keystone-SDA news agency. The SRF Meteo website even showed 28 degrees for Basel.

On Saturday afternoon, 29.9 degrees were measured in Ohlsbach in the Rhine Valley, according to the German Weather Service (DWD) Baden-Württemberg. The previous heat record of 27.7 degrees was thus clearly exceeded. However, the 29.9 degrees are only provisional figures. More precise measurements should only be available in the evening.

According to the DWD, temperatures of more than 27 degrees were measured in some places in Bavaria on Saturday afternoon, reported the news agency dpa. This was the highest value measured in the first third of April since records began. DWD weather consultant Jens Kühne said the highest level was not reached on Saturday afternoon. The maximum temperature could only be reached one hour before sunset. The final daily values will, therefore, only be determined later.

For example, it was 27.6 degrees in the afternoon in Regensburg and Burgheim in the Upper Bavarian district of Neuburg-Schrobenhausen. In Munich, the temperature climbed to 26 degrees—also a local record for the first third of April, according to initial reports.

The previous record from 1 to 10 April in Bavaria was 26.8 degrees in Wasserburg in 1961; however, the measuring station has since been closed. It was similarly warm on the edge of the Alps in 2011, when Garmisch-Partenkirchen was ahead with 26.7 degrees. Munich reached 25.2 degrees at that time. On the Zugspitze, the previous record for April was 9.3 degrees in 1985. According to Kühne, this maximum value could be broken on Sunday.

Summer temperatures in Spain
In Spain, however, temperatures rose to midsummer levels in many places on Saturday. It was also far too warm for the time of year in early April on the holiday island of Mallorca. In the Albufera National Park east of the island, more than 33 degrees were measured in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service, Aemet. Parts of Andalusia and Aragon were also over 30 degrees in some places.

In Spain, as in many other countries, high temperatures occur earlier and earlier in the year. Temperatures of more than 40 degrees were repeatedly measured in Spain at the height of summer last year. Globally, 2023 was also the warmest year since records began in 1850. According to scientific studies, the rise in temperature is most likely due to man-made climate change.

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