Europe faces its hottest day EVER today

Europe faces its hottest day EVER today with temperatures set to hit 118F: Killer Iberian Plume heatwave claims three lives, glaciers melt in the Alps and people sleep in supermarket REFRIGERATOR aisles

  • Europe faces hottest day ever with the killer Spanish heatwave already having claimed three people’s lives
  • Across the continent dangerous highs of 118F are expected in parts of central Spain as heatwave continues 
  • Eight locations, in central, south and east of Portugal have already broken local temperature records
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Europe faces its hottest day ever today with the killer Spanish heatwave already having claimed the lives of three people.

Dangerous highs of 118F are expected in parts of central Spain as the heatwave continues to consume the continent, with health warnings issued in 41 of the country’s 50 provinces. 

And eight locations, in central, south and east of Portugal have already broken local temperature records due to the Iberian Plume. 

The number of known fatalities linked to the roasting temperatures rose after a middle-aged man was found lying in the street in Barcelona bleeding from the mouth.

Splashing around: Energetic children play with the water bursting from the ground in a fountain in Muzeon Park in Moscow

Feeling the heat: Riders and their horses cool down during hot weather in Lake Constance near Guettingen, Switzerland

Cautions ignored: People sunbathe at the Santo Amaro beach in Oeiras, despite warnings from the Civil Protection to the population, in Oeiras, near Lisbon, Portugal

Enjoying the weather: People enjoy a hot summer evening at a former river Danube side arm in Vienna, Austria

Festival revellers watch a band on the main stage at Bestival, at Lulworth Castle near East Lulworth yesterday in Dorset

Civil Protection workers covering the area tweeted: ‘Medical response workers inform us a man has died in Barcelona from heatstroke.’

He was pronounced dead after being rushed to Barcelona’s Clinic Hospital on Friday as temperatures in the Catalan capital neared 100F.

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The man, who was discovered in Berlin Street near Sants Train Station and was thought to be homeless, has not been named.

Around the same time a 78-year-old man was rushed unconscious to hospital in Murcia in south-east Spain as temperatures there surpassed 104F (40C).

Two women jump from a platform over the water at La Concha beach during a hot summer day in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain yesterday

Moscow is expected to reach the maximum temperature of 85F (29℃) today as children cool down by playing in the water

Holidaymakers enjoy the sun and the sea at Benidorm beach during their summer holidays in Alicante, eastern Spain

A group of friends cool down under a shower at Biarritz beach, southwestern France yesterday

Tourists use fans and hats to protect themselves from the sun during a hot summer day in front of the Ancient Colosseum in central Rome on Thursday 

Deaths rise 650 above the average at heatwave’s peak 

Almost 700 more deaths than average hit England and Wales during the 15-day peak of temperatures in June and July, the Office for National Statistics says.

The most vulnerable people proved to be frail and elderly people and also those with kidney and heart problems.

Experts told The Guardian that authorities should expect an increase in deaths during heatwaves after a cross-party committee of MP’s branded the UK ‘woefully underprepared’ for scorching conditions on July 27.

Politicians accused the government of ignoring warnings form its climate change adviser and warned without heeding the advice heat-related fatalities could triple to 7,000 by the 2040s. 

According to the met office, the heatwave’s height ran from June 25 to July 9, when temperatures were above 28C for 15 consecutive days.

Analysis of previous years also found hundreds of additional deaths associated with brief bouts of high temperatures, for example in July 2016 and June the following year.  

NHS Providers deputy chief executive Saffron Cordery said: ‘Some trusts have reported record numbers of people coming in to A&E, with increased emergency admissions, often for respiratory problems and conditions made worse by dehydration. We have heard concerns about large numbers of people from care homes requiring treatment.’

ONS data record when deaths are registered but not when they happen. However 77 percent of deaths are recorded within five days.

Medics battled to save him after he was admitted to Morales Meseguer Hospital in Murcia around 2pm yesterday – but he was pronounced dead two hours later.

He was working on his orchard at a country property near the provincial capital when he collapsed.

The hot weather has caused a sacred lotus flower to bloom further north than anywhere else on record, at the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Harlow Carr in Harrogate, North Yorkshire

After the spell of hot weather, a sacred lotus has blossomed outside at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, in Harrogate

A 48-year-old highway maintenance worker became Spain’s first heatwave-related victim on Wednesday when he died in hospital in Murcia after collapsing as he worked on a new motorway.

Authorities also revealed today a 55-year-old man had been admitted to intensive care after collapsing from the heat in the village of Beniajan, which is also in Murcia and lies just a 50-minute inland from the popular British Costa Blanca holiday destination of Torrevieja. 

His condition was described as stable at Murcia’s General University Reina Sofia Hospital.

The two heat-related deaths in the province so far this week brought the tally over the last five years in Murcia to a record 16 over the past five years.

The Spanish region of Extremadura – which borders Portugal and included the provinces of Caceres and Badadoz and is always one of the country’s hottest places at this time of the year – registered nine of the top ten midnight temperatures. 

At midnight on Friday in Zorita, a 55-minute drive south east of the beautiful Roman-founded city of Caceres, temperatures were a staggering 94.8F (34.9C).

Daytime temperatures in the hottest part of the region have been near the 111.2F (44C) mark.

Holidaymakers heading to Spain and Portugal were warned of an extreme heatwave which could see the hottest-ever temperatures recorded in continental Europe. Pictured: Tourists flock to the sea in Ostia, west of Rome, Italy

Having a ball: Tourists cool off at a fountain during the heatwave at the Virgin Square in Valencia, Spain

Cool down: Europe faces its hottest day ever today with the killer Spanish heatwave continuing – hitting most of the continent


There are several leading theories as to what may be causing the recent global heatwave, according to University of Reading climate scientist Professor Len Shaffrey.

1. Climate Change: Temperatures are increasing globally due to the burning of fossil fuels increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The global rise in temperatures means that heatwaves are becoming more extreme. The past few years have seen some record-breaking temperatures in Europe, for example the 2015 heatwave and the 2017 ‘Lucifer’ heatwave in Central Europe. Unusually warm summer temperatures have been recorded elsewhere, for example in Canada and Japan, and climate change is very likely to have played a role here as well.

2. North Atlantic Ocean Temperatures: Temperatures over the North Atlantic Ocean can play a role in setting the position of the jet stream, which in turn has a profound impact on the weather we experience in the UK and Ireland. This summer has seen relatively warm North Atlantic Ocean temperatures in the subtropics and cold ocean temperatures to the south of Greenland. These are thought to be influencing the high pressure over Europe and pushing the jet stream further northwards.

3. La Nina: Every few years, ocean temperatures in the Tropical Pacific swing between being relatively warm (known as El Nino) and cool (La Nina). Since October last year the Tropical Pacific has been in a La Nina phase. La Nina is sometimes associated with cold winters in North Western Europe (for example the winter of 2010/11 and the recent cold spell in March 2018). However, this year’s La Nina had started to weaken around April and had almost gone by June when the current dry spell in the UK began.

4. It’s the weather: The above factors influence type of the weather get in the UK and Ireland but good or bad luck also plays a role, especially for very unusual weather such as the current hot and dry spell. This summer is no different and the hot and dry weather is partly due a combination of North Atlantic Ocean temperatures, climate change and the weather. Should weather patterns continue as they are then we might expect this summer will turn out to be as hot and dry as the extreme summer of 1976. 

Can’t handle the heat: A man cools off at a fountain during the heatwave at the Virgin Square in Valencia, Spain, yesterday

Children enjoy snow during a hot and sunny day in Best, The Netherlands, as a local juice maker gives coolness with snow cannons during the heat wave

Alconchel in the province of Cordoba took the title of Spain’s hottest place on Friday, with a register of 112.2F (44,6C).

The provinces of Cordoba and Badajoz on Spain’s border with Portugal remained on red alert today.

Spain’s state weather service AEMET also placed part of the provinces of Malaga and Huelva on yellow alert.

What’s the Iberian Plume? How warm from Spain or Sahara is roasting Europe with 118F highs 

An Iberian plume is a weather pattern where warm air moves from the Iberian plateau or the Sahara into Europe and the UK. 

It is caused by high pressure air formed in the Iberian Peninsula, which then pushes and the heat up.

Unlike a Spanish plume, this type of plume is much more stable and often doesn’t cause thunderstorms. 

A medical emergency response unit in Extremadura, where many areas become ghost towns during the hottest part of the day as locals stay indoors and have post-lunch siestas, tweeted advice on how to avoid danger which included staying off alcohol and wearing natural fabrics.

The warning also added: ‘Choose the first hours of the day to do outdoor sports and other outdoors activities.

‘Never stay in a parked car and never leave elderly people or children inside vehicles.’

Temperatures of up to 96.8F (36C) were being predicted for the south of Majorca in areas like Brit-popular holiday resort Magaluf between midday and 6pm today.

A branch of the K-Supermarket chain in Helsinki’s Pohjois-Haaga district has invited 100 customers to sleep in its air-conditioned store on Saturday.

Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat quoted operations manager Marika Lindfors saying the idea for the sleepover came from customers who ‘told me half-jokingly that it’d be a great thing to be able to sleep at a cool supermarket’.

Linfors said: ‘We always try to respond to client feedback, so why not here, too?’

Apartments and homes in Finland are equipped to deal with the extreme cold and damp typical of the Nordic region, but few have air conditioning.

Temperatures in Finland reached 86F this week, with the August average in the country normally 66.2F.

While the small Budakeszi game reserve outside the Hungarian capital Budapest said it was helping its animals cope with the heat with iced fruit. 

Scorching temperatures are back today, as a heatwave drives the temperature in Britain up. Pictured: The sun rises behind skyscrapers in the City of London

Snow and sand: People (left) sunbathe at the Santo Amaro beach in Oeiras while others in the Netherlands enjoy a cool off

The heatwave brings more hurt to struggling high street

Scorching temperatures have kept many of the usual shoppers away from the high street (pictured, Oxford Street, London, 2016)

The prolonged hot weather and World Cup fever has scorched the UK high street with retailers suffering another month of negative growth, figures show.

The high street saw a 1.1 per cent fall in total like-for-like sales in July, the sixth month in a row of negative figures, according to accountancy and business advisory firm BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker.

Heavy discounting led to sales growing one per cent year-on-year in the first week of July, but footfall fell away because of the dual distractions of scorching sunshine and England’s unexpected progress in the World Cup.

Sales declined by more than two per cent in weeks two and three and remained flat in week four as the heatwave intensified.

Year-on-year fashion sales grew 1.3 per cent in July, the first time since September last year that in-store fashion like-for-like sales had grown by as much as one per cent, but this was against a soft base of minus 3.5% for July 2017.

The lifestyle sector struggled in July, dropping 2.6 per cent as retailers failed to match the strong performance of a year earlier when Sterling was low and tourist numbers were high.

However homewares was the hardest hit sector, dropping 11.8 per cent to mark the third month of double digit declines this year.

Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said the broader picture pointed to a tough summer on the high street.

She said: ‘We’ve now had six consecutive months with no in-store growth. While the sunshine and buzz around England’s World Cup run was a boost for pubs and supermarkets, the scorching conditions did not encourage physical shopping and only hindered footfall in shops.

‘Actions taken by retailers, including early and widespread discounting to attract shoppers, will have had a further dent on operating margins.

‘While temperatures may have been rising, retailers are being frozen out. Concerns overs personal finances and the general economic outlook has had a downward drag on consumer confidence.

‘Summer is proving to be something of a disaster for shops and, with a poor first six months, the pressure is on for retailers to do all they can do to mitigate the impact of 2018 being an unprecedentedly tough year.’ 

The north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will enjoy temperatures in the high 70s, with scatterings of rain (pictured Perranporth, Cornwall)

Meanwhile the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will enjoy temperatures in the high 70Fs, with scatterings of rain.

A Met Office spokesman said: ‘Essentially at the end of the week we’re looking at a bit of a north-west/south-east split in the weather.

‘Northern and some western areas will often be cooler with some outbreaks of rain – particularly in Northern Ireland – and that could spread in to southern and western Scotland.’  

The hosepipe ban has been called off thanks to recent showers but those hoping cooler weather will be disappointed.

United Utilities was due to bring in the restrictions on August 5 but said that slightly cooler temperatures, recent rainfall and water-saving efforts by customers had meant it did not need to introduce them at the moment.

The firm, which supplies 7 million people in the region, warned there was still a possibility of restrictions if more rain did not arrive in the coming weeks as water reserves are still low.

But scorching temperatures are back today, as a heatwave drives the temperature in Britain up.

The blistering conditions could have serious health implications for British holidaymakers who have a reputation for staying out too long in the midday sun, causing the Met Office to issue a health warning for tourists.

Heatwave threatens the non-league football season

The relentless heatwave sweeping the UK means that smaller football clubs are struggling to revive their pitches from an unplayable, dusty state.

Kettering Town in Northamptonshire has dumped up to 30,000 litres or water on their ground as the dry spell has left many of the country’s teams unprepared for upcoming games. 

Shepton Mallet AFC’s chairman Rodney Neale says his Somerset ground is so unfit for play that he worries about promising players breaking their ankles.

Sponsors, volunteers and local businesses club together to run the thousands of non-league teams across the country, with squads also relying on cash from pre-season fixtures – many of which have been cancelled this year, BBC reports.  

This year Shepton has used about six tonnes of sand to plug gaps in the cracked pitch. And in Worcestershire, Redditch Borough Council has advised delaying the season as ‘safety must come first’. 

Lincoln City and Lincoln United scrapped a pre-season game, citing the ‘detrimental effect’ that the heat had on the pitch.

Redditch United’s Tom Henman says his squad has swapped fixtures with others so that games that have been cancelled can now be played.    

A blistering heatwave nicknamed the Iberian Plume has swept into Britain, driving temperatures towards a scorching 90F on Friday. Pictured: Student, Anuschka Pinto, 21, takes a stroll along Bournemouth beach today

The remarkable 1976 heatwave saw the country gripped by a severe drought, leaving some households in Wales and west England without tap water for much of the day

The bank of the Rhine river has been torn by the drought near Lobith as the water level decreases daily

Tourists making most of record-breaking temperatures 

British holidaymakers are basking in record temperatures as they enjoy their summer holidays amid an extreme heatwave. Eight places in the centre, south and east of Portugal have broken their local temperature records as Europe swelters.

On Thursday, temperatures reached 45.2C (113.4F) near Abrantes, a town in the centre of the country. They are set to build across Portugal on Friday and Saturday, with medical staff and firefighters on standby until the end of the weekend.

In Spain, heat warnings were also issued for 41 of the country’s 50 provinces as temperatures were expected to reach up to 44C (111.2F).

Temperatures in south-west France could also rise to the high 30s. The mercury is being driven higher by a hot air mass moving north from Africa, bringing dust from the Sahara Desert.

The next few days could see the hottest temperatures recorded in continental Europe. Luke Miall, a Met Office meteorologist, said the record is 48C (118F) in Athens, Greece, in 1977.

Tourists were urged to avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day and remember that children are particularly susceptible.

A spokesman for the travel trade association Abta said: ‘We would advise any tourists setting off to the Iberian peninsula, or anywhere else this weekend where they may experience high temperatures, to take a lead from the locals and avoid spending time in the sun during the hottest part of the day, drink lots of water and apply plenty of sun cream.

‘If you go to the beach, go early and when it feels like it’s getting too hot leave, just as the locals do, and go and have a nice lunch in the shade. The reason they do this is because they know how powerful the sun can get in the hottest part of the day and they do everything they can to avoid it.’

It comes as another blast of hot weather returns to parts of the UK. Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said the mercury is likely to reach the high 20s and low 30s again, adding that despite the more comfortable temperatures in recent days ‘it is not the end of the hot weather for the summer’.

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

Southwark Council said it was suspending the use of barbecues in Burgess Park, south London, after London Fire Brigade warned people to take extra care during the hot weather. 

For those staying at home, the warm air from the plume, which is being pushed up to the UK’s southern regions, will bring peak temperatures of 90F (32C) today and continued warm weather over the weekend.

The heatwave has encouraged many to stay at home to avoid soaring temperatures, hitting the high street with negative growth for another month. 

The high street saw a 1.1 per cent fall in total like-for-like sales in July, the sixth month in a row of negative figures, according to accountancy and business advisory firm BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker. 

The Met Office added: ‘This weekend is much more promising than last weekend with plenty of sunshine around, although the north of England could see a few showers on Saturday. The heat is likely to continue into next week.

‘Temperatures will remain pretty hot across at least the south of England but potentially more widely across the UK – we could see some wet weather coming across the north west, but still pretty hot,’ the spokesman said. 

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