SCORCHING temperatures and raging wildfires are sweeping Europe as the heat is expected to continue for weeks.
Foreign Office officials have warned Brits heading to the continent to take care due to the possible health risks posed by “extreme” heat in Spain and Greece.
APSmoke and flames are seen from a burning forest in Switzerland[/caption]
APFires are seen behind the Stockalper palace in Switzerland[/caption]
AFPA military Chinook helicopter tries to douse the flames near Athens, Greece[/caption]
GettyFirefighter teams work to extinguish flames in Turkey[/caption]
AlamyFires continue to rage in Alcamo, Italy[/caption]
Forecasters from the United Nations’ weather agency the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) have warned that the hot weather is expected to persist into the start of August.
Meteorologists said the mercury will soar up to 46C across southern Europe for several days, leaving Brits heading abroad considering how to dodge the sun.
The temperatures are expected to hit their peak this afternoon in Sardinia, Italy.
WMO forecasters also revealed the next two weeks will continue to deliver doses of intense heat.
It said the heat storm is likely to continue to August in some spots, meaning it is going to be a long, hot, and potentially dangerous summer.
WMO boss Professor Petteri Taalas warned the “extreme weather” is having a “major impact on human health, ecosystems, economies, agriculture, energy and water supplies”.
The UN agency said the weather – which is refusing to relent even overnight – brings an increased risk of heart attacks and deaths.
And there is a slew of severe weather warnings from national weather agencies in place across Europe.
Tourists have been thrown into turmoil after countries issued alerts at the height of the holiday season.
UK officials urged Brits to check before they travel, citing “extreme” weather warnings in Spain and Greece.
Weather experts have declared 2023 an El Niño year – a natural phenomenon that occurs cyclically and causes fluctuations in the global climate.
The UN’s World Meteorological Organization said it will raise temperatures around the world, and the effect is likely to continue for the rest of the year.
Locals and visitors alike have been urged to stay hydrated across Europe as the “heat storm” dubbed Charon hits resorts around the Mediterranean.
The anticyclone is named after the Greek mythological boatman who ferries souls to the underworld.
Temperatures are already in their mid to high 20s in some parts of Europe this morning, leaving some power grids unable to cope with the demand for air conditioning.
Weather alerts have been issued for at least 16 cities in Italy as the nation braces for scorching conditions.
Locals complained they are struggling to work, eat or sleep due to the stifling heat, while tourists are fainting from the feverish temps.
Holidaymakers in Rome have been forced to flock to the Trevi Fountain for a brief moment of relief from the suffocating streets.
A legion of police officers has been stationed at the city landmark to stop any daring travellers from diving in to cool down.
AFPWater carrying choppers have been deployed to extinguish the blazes across Spain[/caption]
AFPExperts have warned the hellish heatwave is likely to continue until August[/caption]
EPATourists are fainting from the stifling heat[/caption]
The city is set to be engulfed by temperatures of up to 43C.
Power outages hit parts of Rome yesterday as electricity grids struggle to keep up with the demand for industrial-size fans and air-con.
The extreme weather caused the death of a 44-year-old man who collapsed while painting a zebra crossing in Milan at 40C.
Italy’s health minister Orazio Schillaci has urged people to swerve tourist hotspots for their own safety as the deadly heat continues.
Spain will also bare the burden of the blistering heat today, with forecasters expecting the mercury to boom to 44C in the Guadalquivir Valley near Seville.
Those in Majorca are set to endure temperatures to up to 43C, making it the hottest day of the year so far on the party island.
The country’s Met Office has issued a red alert weather warning of an “extreme risk” to health – especially for the elderly, young babies and those with existing illnesses.
The scorching conditions across Spain have only been exacerbated by the raging wildfires that continue to rip through La Palma.
The popular island has been engulfed by the roaring flames since Saturday – and they show no sign of slowing down.
Infernos have engulfed the north of the island, forcing a whopping 4,000 people to evacuate their homes and holiday pads.
The Canary Islands Government issued a Level 2 emergency alert after over 11,300 acres of woodland were scorched.
More than 300 firefighters, nine water-carrying helicopters and two planes are still battling to control the unruly wildfires.
Spain’s Aemet weather agency said the heatwave this week “will affect a large part of the countries bordering the Mediterranean”.
The agency says it expects temperatures to drop sometime on Wednesday.
Greece has faced a similar struggle amid the sizzling heatwave, as temperatures continue to climb to terrifying heights across the nation.
The mercury is expected to rise to 43C in Athens over the weekend, with weather watchers warning it is unlikely to ease anytime soon.
Officials fear further wildfires like the two that are already tearing through the country could wreak havoc.
More than a thousand children were evacuated from a summer camp in the coastal town of Loutraki as the fires grew worryingly close.
Homes in Athens have been overcome by flames, while swathes of pine forests have been decimated as strong winds pushed the blazes toward the south coast of Attica.
Highways have been closed, seaside resorts abandoned and holiday homes deserted as the wildfires continue to roar.
The idyllic mountains of Switzerland have also fallen victim to wildfires in wake of the extreme heat sweeping Europe.
Fires broke out following days of hot, dry and windy conditions across the region.
Several villages were evacuated last night as forest fires spread throughout the canton of Valais in terrifying scenes.
More than 200 firefighters are battling to dampen the flames although it is currently continuing to burn.
The army, police and other agencies have been called in to help conquer the blaze ripping through towns close to the Italian border.
Locals have also been warned of rockfalls as the scorching heat wreaks havoc on the environment as well as infrastructure.
Researchers from the University of Oxford revealed Switzerland was one of the European nations who are “dangerously unprepared” for punishing heatwaves.
The country is set to see another scorching week before thunderstorms roll in over the weekend – but highs of 32C will continue.
Flames have engulfed homes in Athens, Greece, as strong winds spur the wildfires onRex
AFPA tourist cooling off from Rome’s stifling heat at the Trevi Fountain[/caption]
ReutersHomes have been decimated by the wildfires – and more could be on the way[/caption]