Europe's heat record could be broken in Spain and Portugal

It could hit 48°C in Spain this week- Europe's hottest ever temperature

Forecasters have warned of potentially record-breaking temperatures in Spain and Portugal this week as much of Europe swelters in a heat wave that has left some farmers suffering drought conditions.

The highest temperature recorded Thursday, when the heat began to rise, was 45.2 C (113.4 F) near Abrantes, a town 150 kilometers (93 miles) northeast of the capital, Lisbon, the country's weather agency IPMA said. Spain's peak of 47.3C (117.1F) was only set in July previous year.

"The result of the hot summer will be a very big loss of snow and ice in the mountains", Professor of Geography Gunhild Ninis Rosqvist is quoted by the university as saying.

Spain's weather agency, Aemet, issued red-alert warnings for extreme heat Saturday in Extremadura and Andalucia regions while several other areas were under orange or yellow alerts for heat. In Brazil, the highest temperature ever registered by the National Institute of Meteorology (Inmet) was 44.7 ° C, in the city of Bom Jesus (PI), on November 21, 2005.

In Portugal, local media ran stories on how temperatures could beat Death Valley in California, one of the hottest places on earth. According to him, temperatures in the Iberian peninsula may be higher than those recorded in the last 40 years.

The hot air mass coming in from Africa is also bringing dust from the Sahara Desert.

The Met Office did not, however, expect the record European temperature of 48C, set in Athens in 1977, would be broken this weekend.

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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). Wildfires have raged in recent weeks even within the Arctic Circle as forests become tinderboxes.

Temperatures above 40C in Spain and Portugal are expected to continue at least until Sunday.

Such was the intensity of the heat, the Spanish interior ministry issued multiple alerts for forest fires and urged people to stay under cover as much as possible.

This weekend's continental heatwave is expected to smash the all-time high.

"However towards the middle of next week the high is expected to move allowing weather in from the Atlantic allowing temperatures to return to closer to average".

The scorching temperatures show no sign of falling.

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