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Record-Breaking Heat with Saharan Dust over Easter Weekend

Hungary Today 2024.04.02.
Saharan dust over the capital

On April 1, temperatures reached 30 degrees Celsius in some parts of Hungary. However, although three weather records have been broken this holiday season, a strong cold front from the west brought stormy weather overnight, HungaroMet reported.

The national average of minimum temperatures on Monday was 13.3 degrees Celsius, practically the same as the average for early June, Magyar Nemzet wrote. The daily average minimum temperature on April 1, between 1991 and 2020, was around 2.89 degrees Celsius.

In Kelebia (southern Hungary), it was 30.2 degrees Celsius in the early afternoon on Monday, meaning that April 1 was the first hot day this year,

HungaroMet pointed out on its social media page. This means that the first heatwave day in 2024 has already been set. (A heatwave day is defined as a day when the peak temperature exceeds 30 degrees Celsius). The previous record for this day was set in Körmend (western Hungary) in 1989, when 27.7 degrees Celsius was recorded on April 1.

One of the other records was set in Napkor (eastern Hungary), where the temperature dropped to 16.6 degrees Celsius even in the coolest hours, breaking the national record for the day. The previous record was 15 degrees, set in Kaposvár (southwestern Hungary) in 1926, Index wrote. In the capital, too, the record was broken: the temperature in Zugliget (District 12) did not fall below 14.5 degrees Celsius. The new record is almost two degrees Celsius higher than the previous record of 12.6 degrees recorded in 1926. In addition, the daily maximum temperature record was also broken in Budapest on Sunday: 25.1 degrees Celsius was recorded in Pestszentlőrinc (District 18), higher than the record of 25.0 degrees recorded in 1989.

Also on the first day of April, the meteorological service warned that a strong cold front from the west is set to reach the country in the evening and overnight, with clouds already hovering over the Alps in the afternoon.

The maritime air mass is causing significant cooling, and strong gale-force winds are clearing the air, polluted with high pollen concentrations for days.

“Until midnight, the effects will be felt only in the western and northwestern parts of the Transdanubian region, then in the second half of the night, Tuesday morning, rain showers and gusty winds are expected in several places in the central and eastern parts of the country.”

Most precipitation is expected in western Transdanubia with 20 millimeters, and the least with five millimeters in the Great Hungarian Plain. Maximum temperatures will drop from 22-30 degrees Celsius on Monday afternoon to 12-19 degrees Celsius during the day on Tuesday, but

the June-like warmth could return by the weekend.

In addition, warm air with a southerly flow has brought significant amounts of Saharan dust to the region, resulting in high concentrations of aerosol particles (PM10) across the country, the National Center for Public Health and Pharmacy (NNGYK) noted on its Facebook page on Monday. Larger naturally occurring particles in the air can also enter the respiratory system and cause respiratory irritation or coughing in healthy people. In addition, eye irritation is a common symptom.

The NNGYK recommended that those particularly at risk – children, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses and the elderly – should go outdoors only when absolutely necessary and avoid working, playing intensive sports,  and other physical activities outdoors.

However, in line with the weather forecast, a precipitation zone arrived in the late afternoon, improving air quality as expected.

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Via Index, Magyar Nemzet; Featured image via Facebook/Tóth Tamás meteorológus

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