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They have a word for it in Germany: schwül. It means, “muggy,” as in the shirt-soaking weather that people based in Germany and Italy have experienced this week.

Temperatures at bases in the two countries reached their highest of the year this week, breaking the 90-degree mark from Pisa, Italy, up through northern Germany. Uncommonly high humidity reaching 70 percent in some areas didn’t help.

That made for some particularly slick keyboards in government buildings with no air conditioning.

Regions of southern Spain, including Rota, are grappling with a drought on top of unusually high temperatures routinely in the 100s. Spanish officials have begun an emergency plan to compensate farmers for lost crops.

Meteorologist Harald Strauss said the heat was unusually brutal this week. He wore shorts to work on Tuesday.

“It’s abnormally warm,” Strauss said in a telephone interview from the U.S. Air Force Operational Weather Squadron, in Sembach, Germany. “But it’s not a record-breaker.”

The summer so far doesn’t hold a flame to the summer of 2003, when temperatures in Germany broke a 50-year record by rocketing past 100 degrees. That’s not expected this summer, Strauss said, although computer forecasts in his office for next week are calling for everything from scorching heat to tree-crippling storms.

Most likely, a weekend of thunderstorms followed by more moderate temperatures and humidity, he said.

Be cool ...

Tips on how to avoid heat exhaustion:

Perform physical training in the morning or the evening.Avoid exposure to the sun between the hours of noon and 2 p.m.Drink plenty of water but no more than 1¼ quarts per hour and no more than three gallons per day.If you begin seeing stars, seek shade.Take breaks if you become too hot.Unblouse your boots if you become too hot.Wear your uniform sleeves down.Source: Landstuhl Regional Medical Center


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