Portugal fights major wildfire as Europe’s heat wave lingers

Weather forecast latest
Weather forecast latest Europe set to sizzle in 48C heatwave

07 August, 2018

And temperatures could edge a degree higher on Tuesday, potentially peaking at 34C in Essex or Norfolk, the Met Office said.

Temperatures are likely to hit at least 32C and possibly 33C in parts of the South East on Friday, while south-western parts of the United Kingdom could see 28C or 29C.

It follows a balmy weekend, with hundreds of sun-lovers flocking to beaches along the south coast and partying at Brighton's annual Pride event.

"Sea surface temperatures close to the United Kingdom have reached near-record levels as a result of the prolonged hot and sunny weather", said the Met Office.

England and Wales are to stay generally dry and warmer, with the exception of possible thunderstorms across the south east on Tuesday.

Europe sweltered on Saturday in intense heat with temperatures hitting near-record highs of 46°C in Portugal, while elsewhere high temperatures melted the asphalt or saw police dogs fitted with shoes.

The heat is likely to continue into next week.

But latest weather prediction models show heavy rain will start to blight Scotland, north-west England and south-east England from Wednesday as conditions turn "fresher and changeable".

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It comes amid a sweltering European heatwave, with holidaymakers in Portugal and Spain feeling the sun most intensely.

British holidaymakers overseas have been warned to avoid spending time in the sun during the hottest part of the day and to make sure they stay hydrated.

The entire Iberian Peninsula remains under the influence of a mass of hot air from Africa, and though temperatures are slightly down on those from Saturday, little relief is in sight.

In Lisbon, temperatures reached 43 degrees Celsius on Friday.

Seeking to prevent more deaths after 114 people were killed in two massive forest blazes past year in Portugal, civil protection sent mobile text alerts warning the population of an extreme risk of fires in some regions, including around the capital Lisbon.

Any chance of the UK's heat record of 38.5C (101.3F) being broken looks to have passed for now, but it will stay warm and dry for most until the end of the week.

Spanish emergency services said on Twitter that the fire had been contained but was not yet under control as of Sunday morning.

Almost 700 firefighters and 10 water-dumping aircraft were fighting the biggest outbreak, which has burned 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) near the town of Monchique in the southern Algarve region.

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