- Much of Europe is being blasted by an intense heat wave that is causing fear and frustration for locals and officials.
- And weather maps seem to feel the same way – a temperature forecast for Thursday looked like giant, screaming face looming over France.
- The forecast map, made by the website Meteociel on June 20, came as Europe prepared for record-breaking temperatures that officials worry could cause significant numbers of deaths.
- Authorities across Europe are taking precautions such as installing new fountains and pools, cancelling school, and restricting driving to help citizens cope with temperatures of more than 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 Fahrenheit.
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The intense heat wave blasting Europe with record-breaking temperatures manifested on a recent weather forecast as a screaming heat skull of death looming over France.
A forecast map for Thursday, first created June 20, showed France’s scorching temperatures creating a giant, screaming face over the country as the country braced itself for the hottest temperatures since a 2003 heat wave killed 15,000 people in the country.
A French meteorologist named Ruben Hallali first spotted the map, and he shared it on Twitter alongside Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream.”
— Ruben H (@korben_meteo) June 20, 2019
He said he had never seen anything like the image in 15 years of looking at maps of heat waves.
The map was published by the French website Météociel, which uses different forecasts to generate visualisations of the weather. A Météociel spokesman told CNN that the map was generated from the US Global Forecast System and that its distinctive form happened by chance.
“It just happened to be possible to imagine a special form of a skull in this map,” he said.
“There are so many maps created on our site for each updated forecast that it is statistically possible for some to look like something.”
Areas of France, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Spain have experienced record-breaking temperatures this week, with some areas seeing heat of more than 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 Fahrenheit. Temperatures could still rise further as the weekend approaches.
People are bathing in public fountains, and a man in Germany is said to have run naked through a supermarket freezer aisle.
Paris has banned older cars from the city, and Germany’s autobahn highways have introduced speed limits in a bid to prevent excessive pollution in the heat, the Associated Press reported.
In France, schools have been closed and state exams postponed as cities install extra swimming pools, water fountains, mist machines, and “cool rooms” meant to keep people cool.
Zoo animals across the continent are also being given frozen treats and extra water.
At least three people have died as a result of the heat wave, according to the regional French newspaper Midi Libre. It reported that the people died of cold shock after jumping into cold water to escape the heat.
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