July was again a month of extreme weather conditions

While Belgium experienced one of the wettest July months on record, southern Europe again suffered from exceptionally high temperatures. According to the UN, the first days of July were the warmest ever recorded on Earth.

Belgium recorded 21 days of rain in July, a 35-year high and one day more than in 2011. The total rainfall up to Sunday was 113.2 millimetres, well above the monthly average of 76.9 millimetres. The average temperature of 18.4 degrees Celsius was in line with the average.

Meanwhile, exceptional temperatures were recorded in southern Europe due to the Cerberus heatwave, hitting countries such as Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Spain hardest. Extreme temperatures were also recorded in other parts of the northern hemisphere, including the southwest of the US, Mexico and China.

Warmest days on Earth

The UN has confirmed that the first days of July have never been warmer. A daily record was set on 3 July, only to be broken a few days later. For the first time since records began, the symbolic threshold of 17°Celsius was exceeded. Even the South Pole was 4.5° warmer than usual.

June was also the warmest month on record. Never before have the oceans been so warm. These bodies of water act as a buffer, absorbing the extra heat caused by global warming. But at the same time, they continue to warm.

El Niño is also having an impact on the weather. This climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, west of the Americas and east of Asia and Oceania, causes the ocean water to warm by at least 0.5° every few years. Depending on the specific movement of the jet stream in a particular area, the effect can lead to either warmer or cooler weather.

The world experienced its hottest year on record in 2016, the last time a strong El Niño was in full swing. Meteorologists expect that this El Niño, combined with excess warming caused by climate change, will see the world further struggle with record-high temperatures.