Prague, Aug 6 (CTK) – The drought tormenting in the Czech Republic will continue for another two weeks at least, with only sporadic precipitations and temperatures of up to 39 degrees Celsius, the Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMU) forecast yesterday.
This year’s summer holiday will be the hottest and driest in the history of the measurements, if the forecast comes true, the CHMU said.
Meteorologists declared a smog situation due to a high ozone concentration in the air in Prague as well as in the Central Bohemia, Usti (north Bohemia), Zlin (south Moravia), Moravia-Silesia and Olomouc (both north Moravia) regions yesterday.
The high ozone level may affect the breathing of elderly and ill people and children, the CHMU announced.
The ozone concentration may decrease in the evening, but the situation will repeat on Friday, it added.
“On Friday and Saturday, we expect the temperatures across the Czech Republic to reach 38 degrees Celsius. Even higher temperatures cannot be ruled out at certain places,” the CHMU said.
Only on Sunday, the temperatures will temporarily drop as a result of an approaching cold weather front.
In reaction to the long-lasting drought, the Agriculture Ministry has called on farmers for cautiousness during the harvest works, and asked people not to waste water.
Since the beginning of the year, the precipitations per square metre have been 150 litres lower than usual, which is about one third of the usual volume.
The soil is dry to the depth of 20 centimetres except for mountainous areas.
In South Bohemia and at the middle and upper reaches of the Labe (Elbe) River basin, plants have started dying of a shortage of water.
Another badly afflicted region is South Moravia.
The volume of water in Czech rivers reaches 10 to 50 percent of what is usual in August, and it is even lower in the tributaries of the middle section of the Labe and the Vltava rivers.
In some localities, households’ private wells have dried up and people must rely on tanks with fresh water supplied by the authorities.
Farmers complain of expected poor crops of potatoes, maize, hops and vegetables that imply financial losses worth hundreds of millions of crowns.
Grain remains unharmed and its harvest continues. However, defects on combine harvesters and other agricultural machines have caused several forest fires already.
In July alone, their number was the highest in the same month in the past five years, the firemen said.