Spain, Portugal swelter as heat wave kills 3 people

05 August, 2018, 02:05 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Europe sizzles as heatwave intensifies across 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. Portugal and Spain were hard hit by deadly fires a year ago.

If the weather forecast is confirmed, it would be the most significant heatwave in Europe in the last 41 years. The country has already had near-record temperatures this year, but nothing yet to break the 47.3° C (117.1° F) recorded in 2003 in Amareleja.

With nearly no rainfall since May, Sweden experienced its hottest July in more than 250 years, with the drought and high temperatures sparking wildfires across the country, even as far north as the Arctic Circle.

Eight places in the centre, south and east of Portugal broke their local temperature records, with officials forecasting on Friday the heatwave would continue and possibly worsen over the weekend.

In Greece, forest fires killed at least 90 people.

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Portugal's Civil Protection Agency has been sending mobile text alerts warning of extreme fire risk in some areas, as they seek to avert casualties.

While back in the United Kingdom another blast of hot weather is set to hit Portsmouth and the South East.

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.

The hot air mass coming in from Africa is also bringing dust from the Sahara Desert, making the sky a dark yellow or dusky orange in places.

On Friday, temperatures are likely to hit at least 29C and possibly 30C in southern parts of the United Kingdom, with temperatures elsewhere sitting at around 24C to 25C.

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There is an evacuation order affecting about 60 homes in the area of Mendocino Pass Road and the Black Butte Ranch community. And California has already spent a quarter of its firefighting budget for the year in the month of July.

Two men died of heatstroke in the southeastern region of Murcia, Cadena Ser radio station reported on Wednesday.

A boy jumps from a dock to the sea during a hot summer day in Barcelona, Spain. In Lisbon, temperatures reached 43 degrees Celsius on Friday. British meteorologists say the current record of 48C in Athens, Greece from the late 1970s just as scorching temperatures are devastating crops across northern Europe.

Temperatures approached 30C this week in Finland, where the August average is 19C.

The U.K.'s Met Office weather service said July was the country's third-warmest month in more than a century.

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