Europe heatwave: Spain and Portugal struggle in 40C temperatures

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Latest weather prediction models by WX Charts show Europe's temperatures are forecast to be hottest in Spain, France and Portugal, where highs of 48C are possible.

The extreme weather, caused by an influx of hot air from Africa, is also carrying loads of dust from the Sahara Desert across some parts of the continent.

The fires have since died down and firefighters from France, Germany and Portugal left Monday, at the same time as residents from a small town near the Arctic Circle who had been evacuated because of the wildfires were allowed to return home.

The temperature in Spain and Portugal, in particular, are expected to rise dramatically over the weekend.

Warm conditions and blue skies have returned to most of Britain this week as high pressure keeps wet, cool and windy weather from the Atlantic Ocean at bay.

Although nowhere near the roasting conditions in southern Europe, the Met Office is still urging people to stay "sun sensible" - drink lots of water and stay out of the sun in the hottest part of the day.

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

Spain's highest recorded temperature is 46.9 degrees Celsius in Cordoba, a southern city, last July.

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

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Earlier this week, Met Office forecaster Richard Miles warned: "48C is the most realistic maximum temperature in inland Spain and Portugal, but there's a chance it could be hotter".

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

Britain's long, hot summer has taken its toll on the country's flowers.

"Hot and dry air originating off Algeria and Morocco will push northward to the west of Portugal and then steer north-to-south".

Climate change means that extreme temperatures are more likely, Mitchell said, adding that by 2040, temperatures like the ones that Europe is now facing could become "the new normal".

Three people have died in Spain during a blistering heatwave that has seen temperatures reach 44 degrees. "That pattern is something we wouldn't be seeing without climate change", Stott said.

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

Dozens of the country's Baltic Sea beaches have "no swimming" warnings due to health risks from algae blooms.

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