Heatwave sees temperatures approach Europe record of 48C

UK Weather forecast- Furnace temperature forecast

UK Weather forecast- Furnace temperature forecast

Portugal has issued red alerts for extreme heat for more than half the country, with thermometers approaching 46 C. The country's highest ever recorded temperature was 47.4 C in 2003.

Fires typically flare late in the day when the weather is hottest.

There may be some good weather in-store for Ireland and the United Kingdom this coming weekend as temperatures are expected to reach the high 20s and low 30s, but if you think that is too hot to handle spare a thought for those living on the continent.

Forecasters at the UK Met Office have said temperatures in the Iberian Peninsula this weekend "could beat the all-time continental European record of 48C", which is a little over 118 degrees Fahrenheit, before the mercury starts to dip.

"High temperatures in Spain and Portugal are not unusual at this time of the year in the height of summer but what's to come over in the next few days is going to be extreme and perhaps record-breaking".

At present, Spain's current record temperature is 47.3C and Portugal has previously seen highs of 47.4C.

"Lisbon will be one of the hottest cities in the world this weekend because it's 10 in the morning right now and the weather is already way too hot", said Ana Pascoal, 56, a cleaner at a high-end restaurant.

Three men died this week in Spain as a result of soaring temperatures.

Even the natives are struggling as a record-breaking heatwave sweeps across the Iberian peninsular, bringing a mass of hot air and dust up from the Sahara Desert. In Greece, a wildfire killed 91 people last month. "I've been here in the summer but it has never been this hot". The heatwave is expected to reach its peak on Saturday, according to the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA).

In Spain, heat warnings have been issued for 41 of the country's 50 provinces as temperatures are expected to reach up to 44C (111.2F).

The Villette basin in Paris takes on the air of a seaside resort. Fishery authorities in the canton of Zurich were combing creeks to rescue fish from suffocation as streams dry up or oxygen levels plunge.

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.

Although it's unlikely for temperatures to go over 50°C, records may very well be broken, Yeomans says.

Sweden had its hottest July in 250 years, and while meteorologists were forecasting cooler temperatures and thunderstorms across the country on Saturday there may be no return to heights in excess of 2,000m for the Kebnekaise mountain, whose shrinkage has raised concerns about the rapid pace of climate change.

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