European heatwave warning: where is affected and what are the temperatures?

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'Temperatures will remain pretty hot across at least the south of England but potentially more widely across the United Kingdom - we could see some wet weather coming across the north west, but still pretty hot, ' the spokesman said. Highest temperatures will be inland with breezes cooling coasts. The national record is 47.4C (117.3F).

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.

A massive high pressure ridge, with a clockwise circulation of air around it, will pump hot, dry air filled with dust from the Sahara Desert into the Iberian Peninsula through the weekend.

Eight places in the centre, south and east of Portugal have broken their local temperature records as Europe swelters.

The current record was registered in July 1977 when the temperature in Athens was 48 degrees.

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

Temperatures are being driven higher by a hot air mass moving northward from Africa.

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Ipma, the Portuguese meteorological service, states that the period of "exceptional heat" is comparable to that of 2003, when there were some records.

Temperatures could climb back up to 31C in London this weekend, with sunshine returning to most of the country.

According to The Guardian, the wave of heat from North Africa has swept across mainland Europe has resulted in a mountain glacier in Sweden has melted so much that its peak is no longer the country's highest point.

Drivers in Norway have been warned by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration that animals may be retreating to tunnels to escape the extreme heat.

Tore Lysberg of the government told AFP news agency that "animals protect themselves in colder places, reindeer as well as sheep shelter in tunnels and shaded areas".

Summer has brought drought and forest fires as far apart as Britain and Greece, where scores of people died, and Sweden warned of forest fires on Friday. To such conclusion the climate scientists analyzing the changes in the weather over the last few years.

The long, hot summer has been so consistent that it has put a strain on German breweries, who have sold so much beer that there is a bottle shortage - bouncing back from record low sales past year. In Germany, decreased water levels in the Elbe River revealed previously submerged grenades and ammunition from WWII.