Red alerts for Portugal, Spain amid 'extreme heat'

Andrew Cummings
August 5, 2018

It's not out of the question for Portugal to reach a groundbreaking 50°C, surpassing not only the national record but also the European record, which is now at 48°C (recorded in Athens, Greece, in July 1977).

According to Met Office data, the record for Spain was 47.3 degree Celsius, recorded on July 13, 2017 in Montoro, east of Cordoba, and for Portugal 47.4 degrees Celsius on August 1 2003 in Amareleja, in the south-central Beja district.

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".

Temperatures reached 44C in the southern city of Cordoba.

People crowds La Concha beach in the basque city of San Sebastian northern Spain Friday Aug. 3 2018
People crowds La Concha beach in the basque city of San Sebastian northern Spain Friday Aug. 3 2018

But as the weekend approaches, thermometers are forecast to exceed 30C in parts of southern England as high pressure takes charge, locking in the hot weather.

But a wave of hot air from Africa is causing temperatures in Spain and Portugal to rise, and forecasters say that national records throughout the continent may be broken, the BBC reported. Large parts of Portugal are on red alert on the Civil Protection Agency's danger scale.

British tourists have been warned to be careful if they are going overseas this weekend, with parts of Europe possibly set for record-breaking temperatures.

The European record is 48 ° C, recorded in July 1977 in Athens.

The next few days could see the hottest temperatures recorded in continental Europe.

Sweden's highest peak, a glacier on the Kebnekaise mountain, is melting at a rate of several centimetres a day.

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has urged drivers to watch out for reindeer and sheep sheltering in tunnels to cool down.

"The animals retreat to colder places; both reindeer and sheep find refuge in tunnels and shaded areas", said Tore Lysberg, an official from the administration.

On Thursday, temperatures reached 45.2C near Abrantes, Portugal.

The country is on alert to prevent a repeat of its worst fires in history previous year when 114 people died.

"That means the driest and warmest periods are expected to be in southern counties, but even there it could be a more uncertain picture than has been the case for much of the summer".

"There's no question human influence on climate is playing a huge role in this heatwave", said Prof Myles Allen, a climate scientist at the University of Oxford, in The Guardian.

The shutdowns are just the latest inconvenience in the heat wave that has descended on much of Europe in recent weeks.

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