As European countries grapple with a scorching heat wave that killed hundreds and sparked forest fires, Turkey may take its share of soaring temperatures soon, experts warn. According to the forecasts, temperatures are already high in some regions but are expected to increase further starting Friday.
The latest forecast for Friday by the Turkish State Meteorological Service (TSMS) indicates temperatures rising above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) for the majority of western and southeastern provinces, while inner regions will have lower temperatures but still above and around 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit). The heat wave will further spread to most of 81 provinces on Saturday.
The hottest temperatures for the summer so far were recorded over the weekend. Adıyaman in the southeast saw temperatures hitting 49 degrees Celsius on Saturday, while the eastern province of Erzurum, known for its long winters, had 35 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit). Adana, notorious for its sweltering heat in the summer, recorded 47 degrees Celsius (116 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday.
Professor Orhan Şen, a meteorology expert from Istanbul Technical University (İTU), told the Sabah newspaper on Monday that Turkey was spared from the European heat wave so far, but it might be "partially" affected starting Friday. Şen highlighted a warning by the local governorate in the southwestern Turkish province of Muğla about possible wildfires. He said increasing temperatures might prompt extra caution against forest fires. "It appears that the heat wave here may last for two or three days. It is not actually a heat wave if it lasts less than five days," he said. Şen stressed that the heat waves could be an aggravating problem for Turkey. "We have to forget the usual climate patterns. Turkey no longer has a Mediterranean climate. It is an arid climate now and we are heading to a ‘two-season’ year,” he said.
Yusuf Ziya Yavuz, a meteorology expert from the TSMS, told the Sabah newspaper that Turkey currently had a strong low-pressure center blocking high pressure from Europe moving to the east. Yavuz said they did not expect a heat wave as strong as Europe in the next 10 or 12 days, where the heat wave is likely to continue in the continent.