Aug. 4 (UPI) — A heat wave that killed three people in Spain threatens record-high temperatures in Europe this weekend.
Forecasters have said the highest temperature recorded in continental Europe, 118 degrees, which was set in Athens in July 1977, could be broken this weekend.
Spain’s hottest temperature in the heat wave so far was 112 degrees on Friday in Badajoz, Etremadura, CNN forecasters said.
Spain’s weather agency, Aemet, issued red-alert warnings for extreme heat Saturday in Extremadura and Andalucia regions while several other areas were under orange or yellow alerts for heat.
Three men have died in Spain this week, the country’s Ministry of Health confirmed Friday, including a 41-year-old man who died Wednesday while working on a highway, a 78-year-old working in his garden Thursday and a middle-aged man who died Friday after being taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The record high for Spain was 117 degrees, which was set in July last year. Portugal’s record high was reached in 2003 at 117 degrees.
Heat from North Africa has swept across the Iberian Peninsula, scorching Spain and Portugal. Other areas of Europe have also felt the heat wave’s impact with the heat melting a mountain glacier in Sweden and baking Britain in an exceptionally hot 88 degrees.
Portugal faced more exceptional warmth Saturday with large areas of Portugal on red alert for heat, including the capital Lisbon, where temperatures were forecast to reach 111 degrees Saturday, according to the country’s weather agency, IPMA.
Scientist have blamed climate change for the prolonged heat wave.