Heatwave sees temperatures approach Europe record of 48C

     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

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe was on 10 July 1977 when Athens in Greece reached 48C.

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.

Gunhild Rosqvist, a Stockholm University professor in geography, said the glacier lost four meters (13 feet, 2 ½ inches) of snow in July alone as Sweden endured record temperatures that triggered dozens of wildfires, even in the Arctic Circle.

July's average United Kingdom maximum temperature was 22.6C from July 1-30, hotter than 1976's 21.6C, and the second-hottest since records began 108 years ago in 1910, behind only 2006's 23.2C.

UAE residents heading to Europe to escape the heat should be prepared for record summer temperatures sweeping the region which experts blame on global warming. Dozens of people were killed in two major forest fires past year.

Warnings were also issued for 40 of Spain's 50 provinces.

Portugal has brought in various measures including a text-alert system to warn those in danger.

LISBON, Portugal Eight places in the center, south and east of Portugal broke their local temperature records as a wave of heat from Africa swept across the Iberian peninsula, with officials forecasting today it would continue and possibly worsen over the weekend.

The searing weather has devastated crops across Europe and farmers farmers are warning this year's harvest will lead to higher prices.

'More of the hot air around Portugal is coming to Britain via the Bay of Biscay, with 30C at the weekend, Monday at 31C, and Tuesday having an upper temperature boundary of 34C'.

Although it's unlikely for temperatures to go over 50°C, records may very well be broken, Yeomans says.

On the other hand, the long and hot summer pressed the German breweries, which sold so much beer to the point of causing shortages of bottles, recovering the negative record of sales a year ago.

In Spain, heat stroke killed at least three men.

The U.K.is now enjoying a slightly more tolerable period of hot weather, with much of England's southeast region expected to see levels of 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) this weekend.

Further north in Scandinavia, temperatures hit records until a few days ago.

Areas along the Hampshire and Dorset coast, such as Gosport, are most likely to feel the heat on Saturday, while the hottest areas on Sunday are expected to be around London and stretching north to the Midlands.

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