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Portugal breaks temperature records

August 3, 2018

Eight locations in Portugal have hit their highest-ever temperatures amid a heat wave across Europe. Two people are reported to have died in neighboring Spain of heat-related causes.

Thermometer in the sun
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/M. Probst

Portugal's weather agency said Friday that eight places in the center, south and east of the country experienced record-breaking local temperatures the previous day, as the Iberian peninsula bears the brunt of a heat wave across the European continent.

Two people in neighboring Spain are reported to have died amid the heat, with climate scientists saying such periods of scorching temperatures in Europe have been made twice as likely by the effects of global warming caused by human activity.

Read moreThe global heat wave that's been killing us 

Temperature records broken

  • The temperature reached 45.2 Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) near Abrantes, a town 159 km (99 miles) northeast of Lisbon
  • Portugal's highest-ever recorded temperature was in 47.4 Celsius in 2003
  • The record for continental Europe is 48 Celsius in Greece in 1977
  • Forecasters say temperatures in Portugal are expected to peak at 47 Celsius in some places on Saturday
  • Two men, a 40-year-old and a 78-year-old, have died this week in Spain, both after working outside 

Read more: Will extreme weather become even deadlier?

Coping with drought

Prolonged heat wave

Many other European countries are also suffering unusually extended periods of very hot weather. The current heat wave in the Netherlands is the longest-ever recorded, while Sweden has experienced its hottest July in more than 250 years, accompanied by wildfires across the country.

Germany has also been hit by hot weather, with fires breaking out in the national park of Saxon Switzerland in the eastern state of Saxony on Thursday evening. The drought is so bad in northern Germany that a kindergarten burned down in the far north after firefighters couldn't get enough water. No one has been killed or injured.  

Firefighters in Saxon Switzerland
Some 140 firefighters are involved in putting out the flames in Saxon SwitzerlandImage: picture-alliance/dpa/C. Essler

tj/kms (AP, dpa)

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