Portugal and Spain brace for record-breaking temperatures

WX CHARTS    
     HOT PLUME Roasting air engulfing Spain and France is causing temperatures to soar

Europe sweltered Saturday in intense heat with temperatures hitting near-record highs of 46 degrees Celsius (115 degrees Fahrenheit) in Portugal, while elsewhere the high temperatures, exacerbated fires and melted the asphalt on highways.

Spain's current record high is 47.3°C (117.14°F) and Portugal can boast a slightly-higher highest temperature, at 47.4°C.

Portuguese authorities have issued a nationwide health warning, including for dust moving up from the Sahara Desert, while warnings have also been issued for 40 of Spain's 50 provinces. Fires in Greece, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Latvia have killed dozens of people and forced evacuations.

If you're over in Spain right now or you're travelling there on vacay today, be sure to keep hydrated and in the shade, because risky highs of 118F/48C are expected in central areas of the country, with health warnings issued in 41 of the country's 50 provinces, according to the Daily Mail.

Some 400 firefighters and five water-dropping aircraft, meanwhile, were battling a wildfire in southern Portugal's Algarve region.

Weather experts say Spain's heat will then spread to the United Kingdom, with predictions of 40C in France and "low 30s" in Britain over the weekend.

The hot weather is continuing, with temperatures forecast to reach 30 degrees Celsius in southern Britain today.

The heat wave broke local temperature records at eight places in Portugal on Friday.

Very hot weather is expected to continue into August and there are, as yet, no signs of the hot weather breaking.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said the mercury was likely to reach the high 20s and low 30s again, adding that despite the more comfortable temperatures in recent days "it is not the end of the hot weather for the summer".

Homes in Finland are created to handle the extreme cold and damp typical of the Nordic region, not the recent high temperatures.

It's hot in Spain and Portugal.

On Thursday, temperatures reached 45.2C (113.4F) near Abrantes, a town in the centre of the country.

The sweltering Iberian temperatures follow weeks of sustained heat across Europe.

"We're here for two days, so we're going for it", said David Jones from England, cooling off by the fountains with his wife.

Following its hottest July in 250 years, rain showers gave Sweden some respite on Saturday across most of the country.

Authorities on both sides of the Baltic Sea, in Sweden and Poland, have warned against swimming due to a huge bloom of toxic algae spreading because of hot temperatures.

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