Heatwave forecast: Extreme 48C heat to trigger RED alert as Saharan system engulfs Europe

BBC Weather: Warm tempertatures to continue across Europe

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According to forecasters, some areas of Spain are set to see temperatures reach up to 45C, with heat only falling to around 25C overnight. In addition, Saharan dust is expected to head towards parts of the continent during the sizzling heatwave, while thermometers could hit 48C in Italy.

The Special Notice of Adverse Phenomena of the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) said the heatwave is expected to bake the entire territory of Spain, except for the Cantabrian area and most of Galicia.

Climate expert Samuel Biener said the highest temperatures in Spain will be recorded in the Guadalquivir valley as well as in the Hoya de Granada and the valleys of Guadiana.

He also warned very high figures will be reached in “regions such as Extremadura, Castilla-La-Mancha and even Madrid” where temperatures will move between 40C and 45C.

Mr Biener explained: “Today it seems that 46C and even 47C can be reached in areas of the province of Seville and also in Cordoba.”

But he warned the worst will be the “suffocating nights” and continued: “In some areas of the south, in the Canary Islands, in the interior of the peninsula and on the Mediterranean side, in some places will not drop below 25C at night.”

According to the AEMET alert, by Thursday temperatures will exceed 40C and the hottest days will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Mr Biener continued: “It is produced by the rise of a very warm air mass from North Africa, which will also be practically static for a few days which explains why this episode is going to extend so much.

“This mass of warm air, as it has low pressure zones on its sides, cannot move, and therefore it will accompany us for a few days.”

The accompanying Saharan dust will have very high concentrations “which could be harmful to people with respiratory diseases”.

The expert added there could be a chance of “dry storms” and warned, “we must be alert of the fire risk”.

Elsewhere in Europe, four Italian cities are expected to be put on red alert today and eight tomorrow as the hot weather could reach up to 48C, according to Italian agency Ansa.

Forecasters predicted temperatures could rise to 47-48C in parts of southern Italy and on Sicily and Sardinia later this week.

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By Wednesday, the likes of Milan, Florence and Bologna will be put under ‘amber’ alerts.

Amber alerts signal the weather “may have adverse effects on the health of the population, particularly in susceptible population subgroups”.

While red alerts warn high risk conditions could remain for more than three days.

This comes amid devastating wildfires in Greece, Turkey and other parts of the Mediterranean.

According to a damning new report from the UN, human-caused climate change is already resulting in extreme weather changes, with more heatwaves, heavy rain, droughts and tropical cyclones.

The report says mankind is very likely the main driver of melting glaciers, warming oceans and rising sea levels.

One of the report’s lead authors, Kings College London’s Dr Tamsin Edwards, said: “Unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the 1.5C target will be beyond reach.”

Professor Ed Hawkins, one of the lead authors of the report from the University of Reading, added: “The 1.5C or 2C goals from the political process, they’re not cliff edges, we don’t fall off a cliff if we go over those thresholds, every bit of warming matters.

“The consequences get worse and worse and worse as we get warmer and warmer, so every tonne of CO2 (carbon dioxide) matters, and every bit of warming matters.”

Professor Corinne le Quere, a report author from the University of East Anglia, said: “The message could not be clearer: as long as we continue to emit CO2, the climate will continue to warm and the weather extremes – which we now see with our own eyes – will continue to intensify.

“Thankfully we know what to do: stop emitting CO2.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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