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Hot weather eases, but lingers

While the record-breaking heatwave that brought the mercury to historic highs in Latvia has eased, the hot weather is expected to stretch into the middle of next week, say forecasters.

According to LSM’s weatherman Toms Bricis, icy waters are still a problem for swimmers in the Gulf of Riga, as winds continue to push surface waters forcing upwelling cold waters to the top, despite the all-day sun.

On Wednesday the chilliest beaches were measured in the southern central shores of the gulf near Riga itself. Bricis said he had received information covering the last three days from amateur hydrologists braving the waters in Jurmala, Vecāķi and Mērsrags, where measurements showed temperatures only between +11 and +13 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, inland swimmers can note a hydrological record set Tuesday in the Daugava River near the Belarus border and at Līksna, where waters warmed up to a never-before-seen +28.7 and +27.6 degrees C, respectively.

However, the annual drowning death toll climbed to 96 after the bodies of two men were pulled from the waters of the Daugava in Riga and Daugavpils.

Forecasts predict more sunny weather, with temperatures no longer as sweltering as those set by the historic heatwave. Air temperatures during the day will remain between +23 and +29 degrees in most of Latvia, warmer still in the eastern inland regions where they will be between +30 and +32 degrees. Overnight temperatures will cool to between +12 and +19 degrees.

Bricis told swimmers frustrated by the cold sea waters to wait until the weekend, when the constant sun and shifting winds should allow them to warm up to more comfortable levels.

Thunderstorms are likely to hit isolated localities in western Kurzeme today. By Thursday the possibility of showers and thunderstorms, isolated but potentially very intense, will pass over central Zemgale and the Riga region, and by Friday they are expected to move on to eastern Latgale.

Bricis also said that the hot weather would break after next Wednesday, so he urged listeners to grab the nice days of summer while they can. Daytime air temperatures will be at highs between +23 and +28.

He also warned that despite the occasional showers, most of Latvia is experiencing very dry conditions, making the risk of grass and forest fires quite high.

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