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Heat Wave

Many parts of Europe, including Germany, are experiencing a heat wave of unprecedented scale this summer. The United Kingdom experienced temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time in recorded history! Let's talk today about the heat wave and other aspects of hot weather — hopefully with some nice, cool air conditioning running!


Die Folgen sind schon jetzt in allen Teilen der Welt sichtbar. Es gibt verheerende Waldbrände wie im Mittelmeerraum und im Westen der USA, Überschwemmungen wie in der Region Ahr und Erft im Juli 2021 und Hitzewellen wie in Sibirien.

The consequences are already visible in all parts of the world. There are devastating forest fires, such as in the Mediterranean region and in the western United States, floods, such as in the Ahr and Erft region in July 2021, and heat waves, such as in Siberia.

Captions 20-24, Klimaschutz: Es geht um das Überleben der Menschheit

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The noun for "heat wave" (or "heatwave" in British English) is die Hitzewelle. The caption above was referring to 2021, and though there aren't any comparable major floods in Germany so far in 2022, the wildfires in the western US and southern Europe are continuing this year.


Ja, was uns bleibt, ist auf jeden Fall das heiße Wetter.

Yes, what remains for us, is certainly the hot weather.

Caption 13, Umfragen: Nach der WM

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Unfortunately, for many of us in many parts of the world, this remains the case.


Du hast bestimmt noch nicht sehr viel Erfahrung mit Hitze.
You certainly don't have much experience with heat yet.


One problem with such hot weather (die Hitze) in Germany is that the infrastructure has not been designed to withstand these record high temperatures. Most homes and many shops, offices, and schools have no central air conditioning. It's hard enough sitting all day at work or in school when it's sunny outside, but imagine doing so drenched in sweat!


Man musste den Ventilator anstellen...

You had to turn on the fan...

Caption 30, Kinder lernen: wie aus Wind Strom gemacht wird

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Living on the upper floor of an apartment building (often in Europe with no elevator) is also excruciatingly hot. From personal experience, the only means of getting to sleep at night is often to turn on a fan (der Ventilator). Noisy, but less hot!


In Griechenland ist es im Sommer sehr heiß. Ich mag zwar Wärme, aber keine Hitze. Also dann... Schweden vielleicht?

In Greece, it is very hot in the summer. I like the warmth indeed, but not the heat. So then... Sweden perhaps?

Captions 37-39, Jenny: Reiseziele

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Warm weather, or "the warmth" (die Wärme), is indeed preferable to the heat. Jenny is right about Sweden, where I just spent a week in mid-July. It was pleasant mid-60s to mid-70s Fahrenheit temperatures, but I could have done without the constant rainstorms. Apparently, the high pressure from the Central and Southern European heat wave is causing more rain in Northern Europe. Depending on where you live, it seems there's either too much or too little summer this year!


Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and search for terms like "heat" and "weather" to find more videos relating to hot weather. If you're experiencing intense sunny weather where you live, be sure and read our previous German Lesson Safe Fun in the Sun.

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