United Kingdom weather to stay warmer than average until October

The hottest temperature recorded in Spain on Friday was 44.7 Celsius in Badajoz, in Extremadura, while the mercury hit 44.5 Celsius in Seville, in Andalucia, according to CNN forecasters.

The mercury is set to rocket past 30C in parts of the United Kingdom on Monday, with 33C possible in London and to the east of the capital as the working week kicks off.

Beaches along the south coast of England - where 31C (87.8F) is forecast - are likely to be packed this weekend.

The hottest areas on Sunday are expected to be around London and stretching north to the midlands.

The authorities warned the population about the negative effects of prolonged exposure to the sun's rays and urged them to take the necessary measures to avoid fires.

South Lincolnshire and the north of Norfolk are predicted to experience the hottest conditions.

In parts of Portugal temperatures climbed to almost 47 degrees Celsius on Thursday and Saturday, just off the country's record of 47.3C and Europe's high of 48C set in Athens in 1977.

However, the intense heat is likely to lessen come Wednesday.

Europe's heatwave gripped Spain and Portugal on Friday, as governments checked for forest fires, a Budapest game reserve fed its animals iced snacks and a Finnish supermarket invited customers to sleep over to stay cool.

The mercury is being driven higher by a hot air mass moving north from Africa, bringing dust from the Sahara Desert.

In Spain, heat warnings have been issued for 41 of the country's 50 provinces.

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.

Police said that even if temperatures were not excruciatingly hot, reaching just 34°C on Saturday, the dogs would have to spend hours walking on surfaces exposed to the sun that could easily go over 50°C, and would still need the shoes.

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

Seeking to prevent more deaths after 114 people were killed in two massive forest blazes a year ago 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.

The stifling conditions played a part in the deaths of two men, one in Barcelona and the other in the southern Spanish region of Murcia, according to Spanish authorities.

A large part of Portugal has been placed on high alert by the country's Civil Protection Agency as hundreds of firefighters also battle a wildfire in the southern Algarve region.

  • Tracy Klein