The curious aspect of weather temperature is you feel it, but often you can’t see it. Record breaking heat wave coming to Central Europe this week is an article I started to write on Saturday, June 22. Preparing for a 23 day trip to Europe leaving Sunday June 23 kept me from completing the piece. In Copenhagen, I checked the weather forecast for Prague frequently to see a forecast for 93F on Wednesday, June 26, the day of our arrival in Prague. By the morning of June 26 the forecast high temperature had risen to 97F.
We arrived on Ryanair at Prague Airport at 11am on June 26. My iPhone showed the temperature at 93F. By the time we exited Namesti Republiky Metro Station at noon for a 10 minute walk to Clarion Hotel Prague Old Town, the temperature showed 96F. Our room was ready at the hotel and we dropped off the luggage and headed out for lunch. Few places in Prague are air conditioned and we did not want to wander aimlessly seeking out a restaurant with AC. I could have probably filtered a search on Yelp for a restaurant nearby with AC, but I already had a place in mind – Hostinec U Sádlů, a place that ranked #272 of 5,127 Prague restaurants on TripAdvisor.
In April, when we stayed six nights at Clarion Prague Old Town, I had spotted the restaurant about 250 meters away from the hotel. We even stopped by one night for a last beer to find it closed 30 minutes early. Even though I had not actually been inside Hostinec U Sádlů before, my impression was the place likely had a basement dining room.
Last summer we also fried in Prague when the temperature was around 90F in July and found restaurant basements were the best places for cool dining and drinking in the heat of the day.
We ate a wonderful meal of trout, salmon and grilled vegetables with a couple pints of Budweiser. Throw out any preconception or prejudice to the taste of American Budweiser. Original Budweiser is brewed in the Czech city of Ceske Budejovice, about 2.5 hours south of Prague. The city was known as Budweis when Bohemia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire prior to 1919. Czech Republic is the only country in the world where Budweiser is a national trademark and never sold to the USA Budweiser brand trademark. The Czech style pilsner beer is commonly known as Budvar.
One of the traditional foods served with bread in some Central Europe restaurants is a lard-based spread. I find it a disgusting taste.
Our lunch meal priced at 796 CZK/$36 USD with 4 beers, which is about $10 more than average for restaurants we usually eat at in Prague for this kind of meal. The cool space on a hot day was worth the premium price.
Outside at 2pm and the temperature had hit 98F. Back in the room we passed out to sleep in the heat of the day. When I woke around 5pm the temperature was still reading 99F. The temperature hit 37.5C or 99.5F on Wednesday June 26, setting an all-time high temperature record for June in Prague. Being somewhat of an extreme weather thrillist, I decided to check out Prague in the high heat.
The following day Thursday June 27 when the temperature was in the mid-80s revealed a more typical tourist-filled Old Town Square.
Sunday June 30, 2019 set all time high temperature record for Prague
Sunday June 30, 2019 turned out to be the hottest day in Prague in 244 years of temperature readings when the official high was recorded at 37.9 degrees Celsius at the Klementinum near Karlův most/Charles Bridge. The Klementinum became part of Charles University in 1654. Its baroque library is considered one of the most beautiful attractions in Prague.
Thermometry is the science of temperature measurement. Daniel Gabriel Farenheit developed a mercury thermometer in 1714 and in 1724 proposed the temperature scale still used in the United States. Farenheit was born in Danzig, today’s Gdansk, Poland, but spent most his life in the Netherlands, where he developed and built some of the best thermometers used in Europe. There is a Farenheit thermometer located on the Dluga Targ market square of Gdansk.
Celsius scale was created in 1742 by Anders Celsius of the University of Uppsala Sweden using a centigrade scale of 0 to 100 corresponding to the boiling and freezing points for water respectively. Carl Linneaus, more famed for his creation of the binomial nomenclature system used in taxonomy for naming organisms, e.g. homo sapiens, was also a professor at University of Uppsala. He reversed the Celsius system in 1745, a year after Anders Celsius death, to correspond with 0 Celsius as the freezing point for water and 100 Celsius as the boiling point. Linneaus was the first to record a temperature measurement in Celsius on December 16, 1745 using a Swedish built thermometer.
The Klementinum Prague has maintained temperature records since 1775.
Sunday, June 30, 2019 was Prague’s hottest day in 244 years at 37.9C/100.2F.
On Sunday we checked into Holiday Inn Prague Congress Centre. The best part about the location of this hotel, some 2 miles from Old Town Square, is the proximity to Vysehrad, one of the largest green spaces in Prague. While Kelley enjoyed the air conditioned room, I walked around the park in peak heat to photograph the city from the walls of Vysehrad.
No way to tell it is the hottest day in Prague in 244 years from my photos.
Despite the heat, there were joggers exercising around the park and the pubs around Vysehrad were filled with people. Drinking beer in the 100F heat was the last thing I desired as I carried only my water bottle and iPhone in my hands.
The June 2019 European heat wave resulted from a weather pattern that allowed hot air from the Sahara Desert to settle over Europe. Hundreds of towns and cities and several countries set their all-time high temperature records during the heat wave, which lasted from June 24 to July 2. The hottest day ever recorded in France happened Friday, June 26 when Gallargues-le-Montueux reached 45.9C/114.6F.
During our 22 days in Europe we experienced only two days with rain and primarily during the time we were taking long distance bus rides across Poland. The temperature remained warm to hot, mostly in the mid to upper 80s and low 90s until July 7. The last week of our trip was far more enjoyable with comfortable temperatures in the 70s.