A new hot weather front arriving in Turkey tomorrow will cause temperatures to increase to almost 10 degrees Celsius above seasonal norm across the country.
The Meteorological Institute said it expects temperature increases to range between 6 and 10 degrees Celsius. It noted that during the month of Ramadan, which ended last Friday, temperatures were at or even below seasonal averages, and were 3 C to 6 C above norms during the subsequent Ramadan Holiday, which ended Tuesday.
It added that the latest analysis indicates a dramatic increase in temperatures starting tomorrow, with already increasing heat bolstered by a warm weather front arriving from North Africa. Expected temperatures in several major cities over the weekend include Ankara and Bursa at 40 C; Istanbul, İzmir and Adana at 37 C; Samsun and Trabzon at 32 C; Edirne and Antalya at 42 C; Diyarbakır at 43 C and Şanlıurfa and Aydın at 45 C.
The heat wave will last until Monday in the west of the country while its effects will linger until Wednesday in the east.
Officials have warned the young and elderly to stay outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and said they should make sure they have enough water with them.
Şanliurfa already feeling the heat
One of the hottest provinces in the country is feeling the heat even before the coming heat wave, with temperatures reaching 41 degrees Celsius yesterday. One public thermometer showed the temperature at 60 degrees Celsius in the Siverek municipality of Şanliurfa. While the thermometer was obviously defective, it reflected how the province felt in the heat.
Mustafa Yalgı, who is on a brief visit from Istanbul, said people in Şanlıurfa usually stay indoors during the day and only go outside after sunset. "I perspire even in the shade. There is no escaping the heat. We constantly drink water because we lose so much of it. May God help us."
Supermarket owner Mehmet Sarı said the only way to preserve the fruit and vegetables in such heat is to keep them air-conditioned. "I keep them right in front of the air-conditioner. No one shops during the day. And we need to get rid of fruits and vegetables at the end of every day. We hope normal weather will soon return."
People flock to pools, beaches
On the western Aegean coast of the country, people escaping the heat have two options: pools and beaches. In İzmir, where temperatures reached 40 degrees Celsius, those who did not travel to the resort towns an hour away flooded the public pools. One water park in Balçova saw 6,000 entries in two days.
Forest fire warning
The Meteorology Institute issued a warning yesterday about the coming heat wave and the increased risk of forest fires, especially in the coastal regions of the Aegean and Mediterranean. With the heat wave and a drop in humidity, the institute warned the risk of forest fires in the region increased considerably. As temperatures increase to between 40 C and 45 C in the region and humidity drops to 20 percent, the institute warned residents and visitors to be careful and be on the lookout for possible fires.