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When Will Extreme Heat Relief Arrive for Europe?

While the heat has been unrelenting across eastern Europe, there are finally signs of substantial relief arriving early next week.

A ridge of high pressure has had a firm grip on eastern Europe, from around Poland and into the Balkan Peninsula, for more than a week and will not loosen its hold through Saturday.

Residents from Warsaw to Belgrade and Bucharest will continue to have to deal with temperatures soaring 7 to 11 degrees Celsius (15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal daily. Highs of 23 C (73 F) in Warsaw, 28 C (83 F) in Belgrade and 30 C (86 F) in Bucharest are more common this time of year.

Wednesday marked the ninth consecutive day of Warsaw recording a high of 32.2 C (90 F) or higher, a stretch of intense heat the city has not dealt with since the 1994 heat wave that spanned late July to the start of August.

"Amid this current heat wave, Warsaw set a new all-time August high temperature record on Saturday when the temperature peaked at 36.6 C (97.9 F)," stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister. The previous record was 36.4 C (97.5 F) from August 1994, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.

While temperatures will fall short of reaching 32.2 C (90 F) on Thursday in Warsaw, it will take until next week for more typical mid-August highs to return to all of eastern Europe. Such relief may wait until midweek for the southern Balkans.

The dome of heat will get broken down early next week as a storm system is able to push farther east than recent systems, spreading showers and thunderstorms from central Europe to the Balkans. At the same time, an area of high pressure with cooler air will build southward.

The impending heat relief will provide the first days of more seasonable high temperatures for eastern Europe since the start of August. Energy demand will be lessened as residents will finally be able to shut off fans and air conditioners.

The return of stormy weather, however, could mean that those with outdoor plans may still face disruptions. Instead of worrying about suffering from heat exhaustion, residents will instead have to stay alert for lightning strikes from thunderstorms.

While initially spreading from central Europe to the Balkans early in the week, the showers and thunderstorms may spread toward the Baltic states as the week progresses.

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Heat relief is not the only advantage to the upcoming showers and thunderstorms. Much of eastern Europe is suffering from a rainfall shortage this year which has become worse over the summer.

Since June 1, Warsaw has received less than half of the normal (169 mm) 6.66 inches of rain. A total of (47 mm) 1.86 inches of rain has fallen in Belgrade during the same time, which is only 30 percent of normal.

"Once the heat relief arrives, there will not be any areas across Europe that will see extreme heat through much of next week," added Roys. "While it could still be on the warm side in some areas, there will not be record or extreme heat."