Hot, Dusty and on Fire: Portugal's Heatwave Breaks Records

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

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

Europe is set to reach its hottest day ever as unsafe temperatures up to 48C are expected to hit Spain and Portugal this weekend.

A building heat wave in Portugal and Spain threatens to topple national and all-time high temperature records in a continuation of a series of remarkable heat waves that have roasted the Northern Hemisphere this summer.

Portugal's weather agency says eight places in the center, south and east of the country have broken their local temperature records amid a heatwave.

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

Ladbrokes also cut odds on August highs beating Britain's 38.5C (101.3F) record, set on August 10, 2003, at Brogdale, Kent.

Europe's weather warning group, Meteoalarm, has already issued red warnings - categorised as very unsafe and posing a risk to life - for much of southern Portugal and for the Badajoz province in Spain.

M - Hot air moving north from Africa is bringing temperatures in the mid to late 40s to parts of the southern European countries, Sky News reports.

More than 700 firefighters are battling a major wildfire in southern Portugal, as temperatures in some areas approach record levels.

From Portugal to Moscow and beyond, temperature predictions as high as 47+ are not beyond the realm of possibility say weather experts.

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

Temperatures in south-west France could also rise to the high 30s C.

Unusually high temperatures during these days are recorded in many European capitals.

Sweden's Kebnekaise mountain's southern peak is no longer the tallest in the country after high temperatures caused 13 feet of snow to melt.

While back in the United Kingdom another blast of hot weather is set to hit Portsmouth and the South East.

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

The heat is likely to continue into next week.

"Somewhat cloudier for Scotland and Northern Ireland, with rain arriving from the west later in the day".

'Temperatures will remain pretty hot across at least the south of England but potentially more widely across the United Kingdom - we could see some wet weather coming across the north west, but still pretty hot, ' the spokesman said.

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