- Much of Europe is being blasted by an intense heat wave that is causing fear and frustration for locals and officials.
- And weather maps seem to feel the same way — a temperature forecast for Thursday looked like giant, screaming face looming over France.
- The forecast map, made by website Meteoceil on June 20, came as Europe prepared for record-breaking temperatures that officials worry could cause significant numbers of deaths.
- Authorities across Europe after taking precautions such as installing new fountains and pools, cancelling school, and restricting driving to help citizens cope with temperatures of more than 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
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The intense heat wave blasting Europe with record-breaking temperatures manifested itself on a weather forecast as a screaming heat skull of death looming over France.
A forecast map for Thursday, first created on June 20, showed France’s scorching temperatures creating a giant, screaming face over the country as it braced itself for the hottest temperatures since a 2003 heat wave killed 15,000 people in the country.
French meteorologist Ruben Hallali first spotted the map, and shared it on Twitter alongside Edvard Munch’s famous painting "The Scream."
He said he had "never" seen anything like the screaming heat skull of death in 15 years of looking at maps of heat waves.
The map was published by French website Météociel, which uses different forecasts to generate visualizations of the weather. A Météociel spokesman told CNN that the screaming map was generated from the US Global Forecast System, and that the fact that it looks so distinctive was completely by chance.
"By chance, it just happened to be possible to imagine a special form of a skull in this map," he said.
"There are so many maps created on our site for each updated forecast that it is statistically possible for some to look like something."
Samuel Boivin/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Areas of France, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Spain have experienced record-breaking temperatures this week, with some areas seeing heat of more than 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Temperatures could still rise further as the weekend approaches.
People are bathing in public fountains and a man in Germany reportedly ran naked through a supermarket frozen aisle.
Paris has banned older cars from the city and Germany’s autobahn highways have introduced speed limits in a bid to prevent excessive pollution in the heat, The Associated Press reported.
In France, schools have been closed and state exams postponed as the cities installs extra swimming pools, drink fountains, mist machines, and "cool rooms" to try to keep people cool.
Zoo animals across the continent are also being given frozen treats and extra water.
At least three people have been killed as a result of the heatwave, according to regional French newspaper Midi Libre. It reported that three people died of cold shock after jumping into cold water to escape the heat.
- ‘Hell is coming’: Western Europe faces its hottest weather since a 2003 heat wave killed 15,000 people in France
- Bathing in fountains, new speed limits, and running naked down the freezer aisle: Here are all the ways people are trying to keep cool in Europe’s heat wave
- Paris opened extra swimming pools, set up mist machines, and postponed thousands of school exams ahead of a killer heat wave looming over Europe