Summer heat sizzles Europe: Portugal and Spain could see record temperatures

MET OFFICE    
     BOILING Spain and France is where the heatwave is expected to be most intense

Spain also issued warnings of extreme heat for its southern areas with temperatures expected to reach 45 C in the cities of Sevilla, Huelva, Badajoz and Cordoba.

The high temperatures are expected to be especially intense in the Extremadura and North Cacere regions.

The heat wave hit Friday, breaking local temperature records at eight places in Portugal. Spain's record high is 117.1 Fahrenheit (set last July).

As Europe suffers another heatwave, forecasters say the highest temperature record in the continent's history can be beaten in the coming days.

According to the UK Met Office, the recent hot temperatures in Scandinavia have led to sea surface temperatures in the Baltic Sea rising well above 20 Celsius, as much as 5 or 6 degrees above average.

More than 700 km of jams where registered in the country today.

Meteorologists said temperatures were being driven higher across the Iberian peninsula by a hot air mass moving northward from Africa, which is also bringing dust from the Sahara Desert.

Met Office meteorologist Nicola Maxey said: "Temperatures will increase by a couple of degrees day by day with highs in the upper 20Cs quite widely by Friday and into the low 30Cs in places at the weekend".

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Up north in Sweden, the country's official tallest point is set to change amid record temperatures.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Europe was 48°C in Athens in 1977, closely followed by 47.3°C in Amareleja, Portugal in 2003 as well as in Montoro, Spain previous year.

Emergency services have issued a red alert until Sunday, with medical staff on standby, and hundreds of firefighters are being backed up by water-dropping aircraft as they battle a wildfire in Portugal's Algarve region.

After the weekend the hot weather is set to continue, though thunderstorms could be on the way.

Forecaster of the edition declared that "a risky, potentially record-breaking heat wave" in the Iberian Peninsula can reach "the upper values of 40 degrees (40 to 50 - ed.)".

A Met Office spokesman told the Press Association: 'Essentially at the end of the week we're looking at a bit of a north-west/south-east split in the weather.

"Northern and some western areas will often be cooler with some outbreaks of rain - particularly in Northern Ireland - and that could spread into southern and western Scotland".

In the south of England there could be five days in a row with temperatures over 30C.

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