Portugal breaks temperature records amid heatwave

Mercury hits 46 in Europe nuclear reactor halted

Mercury hits 46 in Europe nuclear reactor halted

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. Emergency services have issued a red alert through Sunday, placing extra services such as medical staff and firefighters on standby.

The country's civil protection agency reported 426 firefighters were putting out fires or checking alerts in the north and centre of the country. Some farmers chose to work during the night instead of in the heat of the day.

Almost 11,000 voluntary firefighters, police and soldiers are on standby in Portugal in case wildfires break out.

"People with heart and lung conditions, older people and young children can all struggle in warmer weather as their bodies find it more hard to cope with higher temperatures", O'Connell wrote.

A mass of very hot air from Africa and a period of little wind have contributed to what she called "home-grown" heat - which has been building up and could potentially lead to record-breaking temperatures. The dust gave the sky a dark yellow hue in some places.

Large part of southern and western Europe are expected to experience high temperatures this weekend with forecasters warning that temperatures could reach up to 48C in Spain this week.

Met Office forecaster Richard Miles said: "With 48C expected in Iberia, highs are likely to beat records".

Gunhild Rosqvist, a Stockholm University professor in geography, said the glacier lost four metres of snow in July alone as Sweden endured record temperatures that triggered dozens of wildfires, even in the Arctic Circle.

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The Spanish government has issued a warning about the "extreme risk" caused by the weather this weekend.

People crowd La Concha beach in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, on Friday.

Britain's long, hot summer has taken its toll on the country's flowers.

Supermarket chain Morrisons has begun selling "wonky" flowers that have not developed properly because of the hot, dry weather.

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

"During the middle of the week cooler and more mixed conditions to push southwards".

Although that temperature is far below the blazing heat hitting southern Europe, it's well above the Russian capital's average August maximum of 23 C.

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