Record heatwave forecast in Spain, Portugal - 50 degrees

     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

As Europe bakes in another heatwave, forecasters say the all-time temperature record could be broken in the coming days.

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.

In southern Portugal, the town of Evora was nearly at a standstill yesterday as only a few foreign tourists dared to venture out to take photographs of the Roman ruins near Diana's Temple.

Portugal's national record is 47.4C (117.3F), set in 2003.

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".

Police said that even if temperatures were not excruciatingly hot, reaching just 34 C on Saturday, the dogs would have to spend hours walking on surfaces exposed to the sun that could easily go over 50 C, and would still need the shoes.

Some places in Sweden have had their driest May-to-July period on record, according to its meteorological agency, and a number of weather stations have recorded only 10% to 15% of their normal rainfall.

In southern Spain, the heat continued to pound the tourist city of Cordoba reaching 44 C.

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Italy has also issued red alerts across its centre and north, which includes the tourist hotspots of Rome, Florence and Venice.

More than 700 firefighters are battling a major wildfire in southern Portugal, as temperatures in some areas approach record levels. Kebnekaise's south peak shrank by four meters (about 13 feet) between July 2 and July 31, as snow and ice melted by an average of 14 centimeters (about 5½ inches) a day.

In eastern Europe, Poland was also enduring unusually high temperatures as the hot African air pushed temperatures up to 34C. Norwegian drivers are being warned that reindeer and sheep may be escaping the heat in road tunnels.

"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.

In northern Europe, Sweden was still under threat from wildfires, which in recent weeks have extended into the Arctic Circle.

Neighbouring Portugal has been described as "Hot as Hell" as temperatures have risen to 46 degrees this afternoon.

Researchers say that climate change has made the heat wave twice as long as it should be.

If the weather forecast is confirmed, it would be the most significant heatwave in Europe in the last 41 years.

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