Portugal sees record temperatures as heatwave continues
Some places are expected to peak at 47C over the weekend as heat warnings were issued.
Eight places in the centre, south and east of Portugal have broken their local temperature records during the ongoing heatwave.
The highest temperature recorded on Thursday was 45.2C near Abrantes, a town 93 miles north-east of the capital, Lisbon, the IPMA weather agency said.
Temperatures in Portugal are forecast to keep building nationwide on Friday, to around 45C, and to peak at 47C in some places on Saturday.
Portugal’s highest temperature ever recorded was 47.4C in 2003.
Emergency services have issued a red alert, placing extra services such as medical staff and firefighters on standby until Sunday.
Temperatures are 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, meteorologists said.
In Spain, heat warnings were also issued for 41 of the country’s 50 provinces as temperatures were expected to reach up to 44C.
Summer temperatures close to 40C are not unusual in southern parts of the Iberian peninsula.
Spain’s highest recorded temperature is 46.9C in Cordoba, a southern city, last July.
The World Meteorological Organisation said continental Europe’s record is 48C in Greece in 1977.
In northern Europe, Sweden is still under threat from wildfires, which in recent weeks have extended into the Arctic Circle.
Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency warned of “a high risk” for wildfires in central and southern Sweden this weekend because of the continuing dry weather and strong winds.