Africa ITCZ Leads to Europe Heatwave

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Enhanced ITCZ inspired Africa to Europe heatwave

Fig. 1: Morning satellite view of Africa and Europe with features depicting the origin of the Europe heatwave.

Discussion: The intra-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) across Africa (Fig. 1) is stronger than normal likely due to influence of the Madden Julian oscillation (MJO). Australia Bureau of Meteorology mentions a developing MJO in this region. However, the MJO influence may have already initiated. The heat release from this lengthy stretch of convection is released poleward to warm the atmosphere and strengthen the subtropical ridge. During the past few days, an upper low off the coast of Southwest Europe encouraged the ITCZ heat release to flow northward in the southerly flow just east of the offshore low. The result? A compensating 594 DM ridge over Morocco and an attendant high-pressure ridge northward across Western Europe causing another historic heat wave. This morning’s satellite picture reveals the upper low has shifted north toward U.K. and the ridge is shifting eastward across France as relief is on the way for coastal Western Europe. The MJO-enhanced ITCZ could cause stronger tropical waves to enter the eastern tropical North Atlantic basin the last 10 days of July.