A heat-induced “surface defect’ briefly closed the runway at London’s Luton Airport. Trains were delayed or canceled across Britain because of overheated tracks. More than two dozen weather stations in France recorded their highest-ever temperatures. And wildfires blazed in tourist regions of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.

Greece is experiencing what the rest of Europe has — a record number of tourists. After more than two years of putting off their vacations, travelers are loath to cancel their trips. “The taverns are full at night and the cabbies are busy, which is always a great barometer,” said one Greek.

A growing number of travelers are adjusting their plans to account for high temperatures. Scientists predict that future heat waves will be longer, more frequent and more intense. Even with this summer’s high tourist numbers, there are already subtle signs that the heat is driving changes that could become the future norm.

Europe’s summer travel calendar has begun to stretch into the quieter (and cooler) months of April, May, September and October. Many travelers are starting to shift their itineraries northward and toward the coasts. California and other Western states are particularly prone to increasingly catastrophic blazes.

The record-setting heat that roasted London showed how ill-prepared northern European cities are for extreme weather driven by global warming. Dolev Azaria, the founder of Azaria Travel, helped one family make the last-minute choice to spend the first five days of their vacation in Amsterdam instead of Rome.
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