Three dead in Spain as temperatures expected to reach 47 degrees

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Weather forecast latest Europe set to sizzle in 48C heatwave

And it looks set to get even worse, as some experts have said the highest temperature ever recorded in continental Europe (currently it is 48C set way back in Athens in 1977) could be topped this weekend.

The temperature surge is down to a mass of hot air moving from Africa, and has been referred to as the first heatwave in the region this year.

In eastern Europe, Poland endured unusually high temperatures up to 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 Fahrenheit), forcing its power plants to go into emergency mode to increase output due to the wide use of air conditioning and electric fans.

The country has already had near-record temperatures this year, but nothing yet to break the 47.3° C (117.1° F) recorded in 2003 in Amareleja.

By the numbers: The heat is expected to crank up in coming days, with computer models projecting astonishing high temperatures of at least 118°F to 122°F, or 50°C, in southwest Spain and Portugal during the next few days.

The authorities have been on high alert all week in an effort to avoid a repeat of last year's fires, which killed 114 people.

Europe's weather warning group, Meteoalarm, has already issued red warnings - categorised as very unsafe and posing a risk to life - for much of southern Portugal and for the Badajoz province in Spain.

Large areas of Portugal are on red alert for heat, including the capital, Lisbon.

Eight places in the centre, south and east of Portugal have broken their local temperature records amid a heatwave, the country's weather agency says.

The now enjoying a slightly more tolerable period of hot weather, with much of England's southeast region expected to see levels of 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) this weekend.

Beja, in Portugal, is expected to record a peak of 47C on Saturday.

Neighbouring Portugal has been described as "Hot as Hell" as temperatures have risen to 46 degrees this afternoon.

Love Island might be over, but it looks like we're still in for a long, hot summer.

Southwest Europe is bracing itself for extreme heat and forecasters are advising holidaymakers to stay inside during the hottest parts of the day.

But all that may soon change, as current weather models forecast significantly higher temperatures.

A spokesperson for the Weather Channel said: "Towards the weekend it will become hotter once more with drier and sunnier skies extending more widely across the British Isles, the best of which will be on Sunday".

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