According to meteorologists, at least eight countries in Europe saw record high temperatures of “almost unheard of heat”. Poland, Denmark, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Belarus, Lithuania, and Latvia were some of the countries which recorded the warmest January day ever.
The data was compiled by Maximiliano Herrera, a climatologist who tracks extreme temperatures.
In Poland, the New Year’s temperature topped the previous high by more than 5C as mercury reached 19C in Korbielów.
The village usually sees such temperatures in the months of spring and has an annual average of 1C for January.
Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkhill said of the Polish temperatures: “It has taken the old record and increased it by more than 5C. That’s exceptional.
“It was exceptional in the UK in July when the record was broken by almost 2C. To do it by 5C is almost unheard of.”
Meanwhile, in Javorník in the Czech Republic, temperatures reached 19.6C despite an annual average of 3C for this time of year.
January in Belarus usually sees temperatures around zero, but on Sunday temperatures in Vysokaje hit 16.4C with the previous record being 4.5C.
Meteorologist Scott Duncan said: “The intensity and extent of warmth in Europe right now is hard to comprehend.
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“One of the risks of unusual winter heat like this is that it can cause plants to start growing earlier in the year, making them vulnerable to frosts, as we saw when much of the French grape harvest was lost in 2021.”
Meanwhile, Mr Herrera said that the record-breaking temperatures can be “regarded as the most extreme event in European history”.
He added: “We can arguably say this is the first time an extreme weather even in Europe (in terms of heat) is comparable to the most extreme in North America.”