Tunisia is being hit with a record heat wave. The actual scorching heat wave could break more records.
Large swathes of Southern Europe and Northern Africa were placed on heatwave red alert on Tuesday and the World Meteorological Organization warned of an increased risk of deaths as extreme weather gripped the Mediterranean region, Asia and the United States.
Tunisia’s capital Tunis could see highs of more than 47 Celsius (116 Fahrenheit) and forecasters said temperatures could hit 45 degrees in several other Tunisian cities, including 49-50 degrees in the Northern-west region that includes Tabarka.
As temperature approached 50 degrees in some areas, local Tunisian authorities issued warnings to the citizens to be cautious, especially in the cases of the elderly and the sick.
The Sahara is the hottest desert in the world, with one of the harshest climates. The average annual temperature is 30 °C, while the hottest temperature ever recorded was 58 °C.
In Tunisia, the temperature reached a record high on Saturday of the second week of July, reaching 48.4 degrees in the city of Kairouan (the center of the country), according to the National Institute of Meteorology.
The Tunisian Institute confirmed that the temperatures exceeded, on several days during the this month, the normal rates by more than 10 degrees.
An official at the aforementioned institute stated that the city of Kairouan set a record of 48.4 degrees, making it the seventh-hottest region in the world on Saturday night, July 8th. It is expected that the temperature in this country will remain above forty during this week and through the rest of the month.
The extended period of exteremly high temperatures and dry conditions may increase the potential for wildfires throughout the region. The high temperatures may further worsen the drought conditions in Tunisia and across the region.
Heatwaves also pose a serious health threat to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children, pregnant women, and those with respiratory illnesses, due to the increased possibility of heat stroke or heat exhaustion during prolonged exposure to high temperatures. These risks could also extend to relatively healthy individuals during significant heatwave events.
With record temperatures hitting the Mediterranean region during the peak summer tourist season, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed the heatwave in the northern hemisphere was set to intensify.
Hottest Summers On Record in Tunisia
Scientists have long warned that climate change, caused by greenhouse gas emissions mainly from burning fossil fuels, will make heatwaves more frequent, severe and deadly. They say governments need to take drastic action to reduce emissions.
The Tunisian National Institute of Meteorology says 2022 and 2021 were the country’s hottest summers on record of the last 75 years. Tunisia’s highest recorded temperature of 50.3 C was registered in Kairouan two years ago, in August 2021.
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