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Rivers run dry amid exceptional October sunshine

Hungarian meteorologists have noted record-breaking temperatures in several places in the last few days and they forecast that Friday could witness yet another record high for October, said national daily Magyar Hírlap.

At this time of year top temperatures are normally around 7-8 degrees Celsius lower than the current 23-24 degrees. But it is not just the heat that is exceptional but also the lack of rain, noted the paper. In the region, there has been 40-50% less rainfall in the last few weeks than normal for this time of year. The water level of the Danube has been so low that for the last two days the authorities have been pumping water from the main river into a tributary which has almost run dry, something unprecedented over the last ten years. At several points along the river islands can be approached on foot.

The paper notes that the unusually warm weather has prompted Hungarian climate experts to put pressure on the government to speed up the implementation of its strategy for dealing with climate change. So far October temperatures have averaged 12.4 degrees Celsius. But the absolute monthly record for October was measured in 1966, when the mercury averaged 14.2 degrees. In contrast, the average reading for the same month in 1956 was 9.7 degrees. (