August 2020 Heatwave over NW Europe

Derived Land Surface Temperature and it’s potential to detect areas with largest temperature anomalies
  • Sept. 18, 2020

    In the first half of August 2020 a second heatwave hit north-western Europe, which was caused by a hot air mass intrusion from Africa. LSA SAF Derived Land Surface Temperature (DLST; LSA-003) products are obtained from all available 15 minute Meteosat LST within a 10 day period. The DLST include Maximum LST composites and so-called Thermal Surface Parameters (TSP), which further summarize the information contained in the composites.

    Temporal compositing and modelling the diurnal temperature cycle yields the TSP, which also provide representative and spatially continuous maps of LST. Such maps are a very helpful indicator of past weather conditions, e.g. allowing to identify regions affected by heat waves and droughts. During the August 2020 heatwave, very high temperatures were measured especially in Belgium, the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands.

    What do the animations present?

    Animations were generated for the period between 21st of July and 31st of August 2020 over Europe. They present Derived Land Surface Temperature (DLST; LSA-003) data for the last decade of July and for August, i.e. four 10-day intervals. Spatially smooth Maximum LST maps were obtained by adding the thermal surface parameters ‘Minimum temperature’ and ‘Temperature amplitude’, which were obtained from Maximum LST composites.

    Figure 1: The left animation shows the obtained Maximum temperatures during the heatwave while the right animation shows the corresponding temperature anomalies with respect to the average values during the reference years 2016 – 2019. Missing data, e.g. due to persistent clouds, are shown in white.