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31st Jul 2018

British holidaymakers warned “stay indoors” as temperatures in Europe soar to near 50 degrees

Temperatures in southwestern Europe are predicted to reach the high 40s in the coming weeks, and British tourists have been warned to take extra care when travelling abroad

Reuben Pinder

CHICHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Beachgoers gather on West Wittering Beach during hot weather on the first day of the Summer school holidays on July 23, 2018 in Chichester, England. Today has been the hottest day of 2018 with temperatures rising to 33.3 degrees celsius in some areas. The Met Office have issued an amber weather warning to stay out of the sun between now and Friday as temperatures could continue to rise to 35 degrees celsius. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

This heatwave isn’t going anywhere

Certainly not in Europe, anyway. We may have been given some respite from the sizzling temperatures in Britain, but southwestern Europe is still suffering from extremely high temperatures.

British tourists heading to the continent – particularly Spain, France and Portugal – this summer have been warned to take extra care as temperatures are set to soar into the high 40s. Forecasters have advised holidaymakers to stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day and to stay hydrated.

“An area of high pressure will bring dry and sunny weather across Iberia and southwest France with hot air being drawn up from North Africa,” Sky weather presenter Isobel Lang said.

“This could lead to potentially historic heat from midweek, reaching a peak into the weekend.”

Spain’s record high is 47.3 degrees celcius while Portugal’s is 47.4, but these temperatures “could well be beaten”, she added.

Southwest France could see temperatures reach 40 degrees, but further south, parts of Spain and Portugal could reach 48 degrees, which would become Europe’s hottest ever recorded temperature, last set in Athens in 1977 when the Greek city hit 47 degrees.

The old and the young will be most vulnerable to the heatwave, while British tourists may struggle to adapt to the extreme heat. Brits travelling to the Iberian peninsula should also be prepared to face travel disruptions, particularly on railways.

The threat of wildfires remains high, too, after Europe’s biggest wildfire since 1990 killed 86 people in Athens.

Back in Britain, however, the weather will be more comfortable. The Met Office 30 day forecast predicts another long, dry spell after recent thunderstorms broke a 58-day drought.

The Met Office predicts “plenty of sunshines” throughout August, but also warns that there remains a chance of more thunderstorms breaking out, most likely to hit the southern counties, which will also get the majority of the heat.