Heatwave in Europe: Italy puts 16 cities on red alert, Paris sizzles and German police halt naked scooter rider

The heatwave that has hit Europe this week has broken records and led to rows about topless sunbathing and prompted one German moped rider to ditch his clothes until the police caught up with him. Here's a round up of the day's news.

Heatwave in Europe: Italy puts 16 cities on red alert, Paris sizzles and German police halt naked scooter rider
People take shelter under an umbrella at the Louvre in Paris. Photo: AFP

Europe continued to sizzle on Thursday and the hot weather is obviously getting to a few people.

German police cautioned a man riding naked on a moped as temperatures soared in a scorching heatwave across the country.

Police in Brandenburg, the neighbouring state to Berlin, posted on Twitter two pictures on of a moped-riding man clad in only his helmet and sandals, as they called on users to suggest captions for the images.

“Because we're speechless,” said police, adding the hashtags #heat, #safetyfirst and #livingontheedge. “How would you caption this picture? For some inspiration, a quote from the man: 'It's just warm, isn't it?'”

Here's the full story and pic!

Meteorologists blamed a blast of torrid air from the Sahara for the unusually early summer heatwave, which could send thermometers above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in some places on Thursday and Friday.

Experts say such heatwaves early in the summer are likely to be more frequent as the planet heats up — a phenomenon that scientists have shown to be driven by human use of fossil fuels.

Staying in Germany confirmation came on Wednesday that the country has recorded its hottest ever June temperature, breaking a record that had lasted over 70 years. Any idea where in Germany the mercury peaked?

Those high temperatures have sent people scurrying towards outdoor pools and river banks to cool down but tempers have flared in Munich after one group of women were ordered to cover up after sunbathing topless.

Needless to say the row soon spread to politicians.


An urgent motion was introduced in a city council meeting Wednesday, reading “the bathing costume statutes of the state capital Munich will be amended to the effect that bathing costumes must completely cover the primary sex organs” – to allow topless bathing.

In Sweden, while there was rain in Stockholm parts of the country recorded the hottest day of the year so far.

While Sweden is avoiding the worst of the heatwave, many areas are still instituting fire bans due to the risk of forest fires that spread throughout the country last year.

Italy has been one of the countries left baking in the heatwave and on Wednesday authorities put 16 cities on RED alert for extreme heat as the country braces itself for record temperatures.


And if you are unlucky enough to be Rome right now, then here are the best beaches within easy reach that you really should try and head to.

And here are the places in Italy you really want to avoid right now.


In France scientists have explained why Paris is up to 10C hotter than the surrounding areas.

Their explanation is interesting, not least because one of the factors that makes cities like Paris feel like ovens is… air conditioning.


The heatwave in France forced authorities in Paris to introduce traffic restrictions and ban the most polluting cars.

In Switzerland the heatwave was also forcing the mercury up to record breaking levels, but children still had to go to school. This article explains why.

For more stories from around Europe please visit our individual country sites.












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Trains delayed and roads slippery in Sweden despite lower snowfall

Sweden's state-owned rail company SJ cancelled several train services on Tuesday as a result of the snowy weather, while forecasters warned that roads could still be slippery in many regions.

Trains delayed and roads slippery in Sweden despite lower snowfall

SJ is cancelling several regional trains on Tuesday between Stockholm and Uppsala, Stockholm and Västerås, and Gävle and Linköping at the request of the Swedish Transport Administration, which wants to free up space on the tracks. 

At the same time, weather forecaster SMHI warned that, while snowfall would decrease over the day, there would still be a risk of slippery roads in many areas.

“It’s still continuing to snow, but the intensive snowfall we are now warning about will come to an end during the day, starting in the south of the country,” state meteorologist Angelica Lundberg told the TT newswire.  “Over the coming days there may be an increased risk of slipping and this is the case most of all close to the coast.” 

Bengt Olsson, press officer for the Swedish Transport Administration, told SVT that the disruptions seen on Sunday and Monday looked likely to ease off on Tuesday. 

“It’s a bit calmer so far. There’s another type of road surface to day. It’s starting to freeze up a but. There’s a lot of crust from the snow and patches of ice out on the road, so its the risk of skidding that we are trying to deal with today.”

The slippery roads have led to some busses being cancelled, with Dalatrafiken, the bus operator in Dalarna, cancelling several regional bus services. 

Buses parked at the Keolis bus depot in Värtahamnen cruise terminal in Stockholm.
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Stockholm’s transport operator SL suspended the Lindingöbanan Light-railway line on Tuesday morning, and has also reduced some commuter train services. In Söderort, Huddinge and Botkyrka all bus services have been cancelled. 

“The measures taken to prevent skidding aren’t working,” SL’s press spokesperson Andreas Strömberg told SVT. “At Juliaborg in Huddinge six of our buses got stuck, so the traffic controllers decided to cancel all further services so we can get in snow ploughs.

Snow was continuing to fall on Tuesday over much of central Sweden, and SMHI has issued the lowest “yellow” weather warning for Sörmland, Västmanland, Örebro, Dalarna, and the north of Värmland. 

In most places, there is now between 5cm-15cm of snow, with 20cm in some places.