Heat wave affecting Czech Republic in host of ways

06-08-2003

We've been having a long and very hot summer here in the Czech Republic. After it was announced that this June was the hottest on record, the weather forecasters said the tropical weather was behind us, and we could expect cooler temperatures in July and August. Well, they were wrong: the Czech Republic is once again being hit by a heat wave, and the intense heat is something everybody is talking about.

The weather forecast is for more of the same for at least another week, with the daytime temperature not expected to fall below 30 degrees Celsius during that time. Meanwhile, the heat has been affecting life in the Czech Republic in a host of ways. Trains have been running relatively slowly in some areas due to fears of tracks warping. The tropical weather has also been having a detrimental effect on livestock, with cows, for instance, not producing as much milk as usual. Other animals are not fattening up as much as they would normally, as they eat less feed and drink more water. It may also be the case that the heat is causing a decrease in productivity, as unless you have air conditioning it's not possible to work normally.

To find out how people are finding the heat, I spoke to some people on Wenceslas Square, both Czechs and tourists.

Man from Sheffield, England: "It's warm but it's nice."

You aren't used to it I'm sure.

"It's always hot in Sheffield (laughs). No it's fine, no problem."

Middle-aged man: "Oh, it's too hot for me, actually. I try to be most of the time inside and not come out."

Young man in suit: "It's terrible to work in this weather. This summer is the worst I remember for a few years."

Do you employers make you wear a suit, even when it's so hot?

"Yes, it's hard to work at the moment."

Young woman from England: "We hadn't been to the Czech Republic before so I didn't know how hot it was going to be but it's damn hot, and we've got to carry our bags around."

Is there anything you can do to keep cool?

"We've just been drinking lots of water. We saw a guy from Sweden yesterday just shaving off his hair on the street because it was so hot, so that's quite a good solution."

06-08-2003