“England has only 35% (23.1 mm) of average rainfall for this month,” the UK Met Office said in a statement on Monday.
The south and east of the country were particularly affected by the lack of rainfall. Southern England has recorded its driest July on record since 1836, with just 17% of average rainfall, according to the Met Office.
Like the rest of Europe, July saw a record heat wave hitting the British Isles. The UK saw temperatures above 40°C (104°F) for the first time, hitting a record 40.3°C on July 19 in Conningsby, Lincolnshire.
In France, there was only 7.8 mm of rain in July, Christophe Picchu, the country’s environmental transformation minister, told France Info radio on Monday.
“We have an 88% shortfall compared to what was necessary,” Picchu added.
A heat wave in July triggered raging forest fires in the western and southern parts of the country, and a new heat wave is expected to hit France this week.
The temperature in the southwest is expected to reach 40 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, according to Mito France, the country’s meteorological service.
Wildfires are raging across southern France, with the largest fires in the Gard department destroying more than 350 hectares (more than 860 acres) of forest by Sunday night, according to the local fire department.
Researchers at the European Commission’s Joint Research Center warned on July 18 that nearly half of Europe’s land, including the United Kingdom, is “at risk” of drought.
A “staggering portion” of 44% of EU and UK land is under a drought warning, with 9% on drought alert, researchers said.