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Parts of Spain and Portugal braced for 47C heatwave
World | incidents | 10:10, 03 August 2018 | 826

AKIPRESS.COM - 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.

Parts of the Iberian peninsula are bracing themselves for a surge in temperatures amid warnings of the first heatwave of the year.

The mercury is expected to hit the mid to late 40s in Spain and Portugal, and there could even be a new record breaking top temperature of 48C.

The current highest temperatures were hit on 13 July 2017 in Montoro, Spain, when the mercury reached 47.3C (117F) and in Amareleja, Portugal, on 1 August 2003 when the temperature reached 47.4C (117F).

But the all-time highest record for continental Europe is 48C (118F) set in Athens, Greece, on 10 July 1977.

Portuguese authorities have issued a countrywide health warning, and alerts are also in place in 40 of Spain's 50 provinces.

Beja, in Portugal, is expected to record a peak of 47C on Saturday.

The temperature surge is down to a mass of hot air moving from Africa, and has been referred to as the first heatwave in the region this year.

However, climatologist Fatima Espírito Santo of the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere, told the Observador that the increase is not a heatwave, because the spell of higher temperatures will only last three days, not five.

She added heatwaves will likely occur every two years because of the impact of climate change.

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