Weather tracker: heatwave grips parts of Asia and heavy snow hits Scandinavia
A prolonged heatwave that has been affecting many parts of Asia this month continued to batter the region last week. Much of the south-east, including Thailand and Laos, has been experiencing record heat: in Tak, north-west Thailand, the temperature soared to 45.4C (113.7F) on 15 April, while in Luang Prabang, Laos, it reached 42.7C.
Temperatures in Thailand continued to exceed 40C into the weekend, prompting the authorities to issue warnings for extreme heat and advise residents in many parts of the country, including the capital, Bangkok, to stay indoors.
There is likely to be some relief, however, as the extreme heat is forecast to ease this week. April is typically the warmest month of the year in Thailand, and the hot season usually gives way to the rainy season by mid-May.
China has also been affected by the heatwave, with many weather stations recording their highest-ever April temperatures last Monday. However, there was a dramatic shift in conditions at the weekend as a cold front swept south and east. This triggered a sharp drop in temperatures, torrential rain and, in parts of northern China, heavy snowfall. Daytime temperatures in the north plunged from about 30C to low single figures, sinking below zero overnight. The northern province of Shanxi reported up to 24cm of snow
Meanwhile, as cold conditions return to the UK early this week, in Scandinavia winter has been reluctant to release its grip. Parts of Norway and northern Sweden experienced severe snowfall on Sunday, up to 20-30cm, with a similar amount expected during the first half of this week. This comes days after some of Norway’s scenic mountain roads reopened following weeks of snow clearance.
cover photo: People shelter from the sun during a heatwave in Bangkok, Thailand, last week. Photograph: Jack Taylor/AFP/Getty