A scorching heatwave gripping southern Europe is expected to tip temperatures well into the 40C range this week and next, as many Britons prepare for their summer holidays abroad.
Inland Spain is forecast to swelter in temperatures of up to 43C in the next few days, while places like Foggia in eastern Italy could reach 44C by the middle of next week.
Temperatures are due to peak at 10-15C higher than average in some areas. In parts of Sardinia, southern Italy and mainland Greece, maximum temperatures are expected to reach of 40-45C, compared with an average of around 32C.
Read more: See the forecast for your area
Prague may see highs of 34C on Saturday, compared with the average of 24C.
North Africa is also set to suffer from extreme heat, where temperatures are forecast to reach 50C. Tunisia has already endured record-breaking temperatures of up to 49C.
Met Office spokesperson Grahame Madge said: “The heatwave conditions which are affecting parts of southwest Europe and northwest Africa are expected to extend eastward eventually reaching the Middle East later in the week.”
He added: “Much higher than average temperatures are also likely at times further north across Europe, but these will be shorter lived and less impactful.”
The UK will escape the extreme temperatures altogether.
Mr Madge warned: “Communities in the affected regions should expect health impacts and the potential for wildfires.”
It comes as the world experienced its hottest week on record at the start of July – following the hottest ever June – according to the World Meteorological Organization.
Previous studies have linked heat in Europe with climate change.
Yesterday a new study revealed more than 61,000 people died in Europe last summer as a result of extreme heat.
Meanwhile another heatwave is sweeping through southwestern USA, with residents in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Southern California under excessive heat warnings as the mercury looks to soar above 37C.
Yesterday forecasters advised people in parts of Nevada and New Mexico to stay indoors.
Back in Europe, the heat is also expected to push north briefly, with an area from the Alps to western Poland also seeing temperatures around 10-12C above the average over the weekend.
A westward extension of the heatwave across the Canary Isles is also likely later in the week.
Although temperatures in southern Europe may dip on Saturday, temperatures will build again from Sunday with the heatwave likely to last much of or all of next week.
Sky News’s weather producer Joanna Robinson said: “At the moment Tuesday and Wednesday next week currently look to bring the highest temperatures, with central Spain, Sardinia and parts of Italy all showing areas with temperatures some 10-12C above average.”
She added: “That would bring highs of 44-45C, but there’s time for that to change the closer we get.”
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