Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Red alerts for Portugal, Spain amid smothering heat wave

WX CHARTS    
   SCORCHER Temperatures could reach 48C this week in parts of Spain WX CHARTS SCORCHER Temperatures could reach 48C this week in parts of Spain
Russell Knight | 04 August, 2018, 22:37

Health officials are warning travellers to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, with children and the elderly most at risk from heatstroke.

The hot weather in Moscow is continuing, with temperatures forecast to reach 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit).

Huge crowds swarm beaches in San Sebastian, northern Spain, during the country's heatwave.

The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: "Record-breaking heat in Spain and Portugal is forecast to approach 50C". 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.

Spanish authorities issued a heatwave warning for most of central Spain, expected to last until Sunday with temperatures of over 42C in some parts of Andalusia and Extremadura.

Spain's highest recorded temperature is 46.9C (116.42F) in Cordoba, a southern city, in July 2017.

In southern Portugal, the town of Evora was nearly at a standstill Saturday as only a few foreign tourists dared to venture out to take photographs of the Roman ruins called Diana's Temple.

"I don't want to say anything bad but yesterday, while I was watching TV, I thought the same could happen here but I'm praying it doesn't", said Eva Stigliano, a Greek tourist visiting Portugal for the third time.

"With temperatures rising, we're advising people to look out for friends, family and neighbors who may feel the heat more than others", Emer O'Connell, a government consultant in public health, told ABC News in an email. We're just drenched with water.

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Francisca Serrano, a souvenir seller, added "we are used to high temperatures, but it seems the air doesn't flow and that makes it hard to breathe".

Tourists in Spain and Portugal clearly need to take care in such high temperatures.

In Scandinavia, temperatures hit records until a few days ago.

Two men died of heat-stroke in the southeastern region of Murcia, Cadena Ser radio station reported on Wednesday.

The biggest outbreak has burned about 1000 hectares near the town of Monchique in the southern Algarve region.

"It's a very serious situation of extreme heat", Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said.

Luke Miall, a Met Office meteorologist, said the current record of 48C (118F) in Athens, Greece, in 1977 could be broken as a wave of blisteringly hot air sweeps in from Africa. The dust gave the sky a dark yellow hue in some places.

Climate change means that extreme temperatures are more likely, Mitchell said, adding that by 2040, temperatures like the ones that Europe is now facing could become "the new normal".

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