By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
August 11,2017, 1:23:43PM,EDT
Relief from the heat wave in eastern Europe is on the way, but first the area will endure potentially damaging thunderstorms.Heat will gradually be swept away through early next week as a cold front presses eastward.
Highs within a degree or two of 37 C (upper 90s to lower 100s F) in Warsaw, Poland, and Belgrade, Serbia, on Friday will be dramatically trimmed to near 22 C (71 F) for Sunday.
However, the refreshing change will not occur until after a cold front passes through with a line of severe thunderstorms.
After a few severe thunderstorms erupted on Thursday, more severe thunderstorms threatened the corridor from western and central Poland to Hungary to end Friday.
“On Saturday, conditions will be conducive for strong thunderstorms from Estonia through eastern Poland to Serbia,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Faith Eherts.
Warsaw and Belgrade will join Riga, Latvia, Vilnius, Lithuania, and Košice, Slovakia, in being threatened by the violent thunderstorms from the midday hours into the evening.
Europe weather center
Heart-pounding moments for kayaker caught in lightning storm
Car barrels through crossing, narrowly avoids getting smashed by train
“The strongest thunderstorms into Saturday evening will produce damaging winds, large hail or even an isolated tornado,” Eherts said.
The tornado risk is likely to be highest across areas from Poland northward.
While not every community being threatened will endure a severe thunderstorm, all residents with outdoor plans should be prepare to seek shelter. As soon as thunder is heard, the risk of being struck by lightning is present.
Downpours accompanying the thunderstorms will endanger motorists by reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds. Isolated flash flooding may also result.
“Behind this area of unsettled weather, cooler, more comfortable conditions will move in by the end of the weekend,” Eherts said.
The risk for locally severe thunderstorms will shift to far northwestern Russia and eastern Belarus on Sunday afternoon as the heat continues to get trimmed.
Temperatures approaching or exceeding 32 C (90 F) will be suppressed to eastern Belarus, as well as the eastern and far southern Balkans on Sunday.
Despite the return of cooler weather behind the front, a shower or thunderstorm is also expected to linger from the Baltic States to Poland and the Balkans on Sunday.
This weekend will not mark the end of sizzling summer air for eastern Europe. Temperatures are once again expected to soar well above normal later next week.