The UK, Portugal, Spain and France are facing record high temperatures this week, with little relief in sight.
Hot conditions will continue to aggravate ongoing wildfires in southwestern Europe. Level 3 heat alerts, the highest possible level, are in place for 14 states in Portugal and eastern Spain until the end of the week.
“Heat and health alerts have now been issued across the majority of the country, with temperatures expected to remain consistently high throughout this week,” said Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection. to the UK Health Security Agency. .
The UK’s record temperature is 38.7 degrees Celsius (101.7 degrees Fahrenheit), which could be exceeded as early as this weekend, according to the meteorological office.
“Some models have produced maximum temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of the UK over the coming weekend and beyond,” said Rebekah Sherwin of the weather office.
As the country prepares, officials warn of the dangers to vulnerable communities.
“Adverse population-wide health effects are likely to be experienced, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, resulting in potential serious illness or life-threatening conditions,” the office said. meteorological. “Many more people are likely to visit coastal areas, lakes and rivers, increasing the risk of water safety incidents.”
The UK could also see road closures due to melting surfaces, as well as delays in rail and air travel amid extreme heat.
Spain, Portugal, France and Italy
The heat wave is expected to continue at least until the end of the week on the Spanish mainland, the Spanish national meteorological service announced on Monday.
It’s not just the Iberian Peninsula that’s sweltering in the heat. France will also remain warm until the end of the week, reaching temperatures in the mid-30s. Heat alerts cover parts of eastern France, including Toulouse and Bordeaux.
The European region is all too familiar with this. Last month, Europe hit record high temperatures and its second hottest June on record.
The Italian government last week declared a state of emergency for five regions in northern Italy amid extreme drought conditions.
“Most of us can take advantage of the warm weather when it arrives, but it’s also important to stay hydrated and find shade where possible when the UV rays are strongest, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. “, said Dr. Sousa. “If you have vulnerable family, friends and neighbors, make sure they know how they can protect themselves from the hot weather.”
The threat of forest fires
Thirty-five forest fires in Portugal have so far left 29 injured, the Portuguese civil protection department said at a press conference on Saturday.
The critical period for fires in Portugal runs from July 1 to September 30. Where there is an extreme fire hazard, the burning of recreational bonfires, trash piles, fireworks or fires of any kind is prohibited. Certain forest areas may also be reserved for unauthorized persons.
CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite, Duarte Mendonca, Al Goodman and Benjamin Brown contributed to this report.