The current highest temperatures were hit on 13 July 2017 in Montoro, Spain, when the mercury reached 47.3C (117F) and in Amareleja, Portugal, on 1 August 2003 when the temperature reached 47.4C (117F). It also played a part in the deaths of two men, one in Barcelona and the other in the southern Spanish region of Murcia, according to Spanish authorities.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Europe was 48 degrees in Athens in 1977, closely followed by 47.3 in Amareleja, Portugal in 2003 as well as in Montoro, Spain a year ago.
"At the moment an high pressure system is bringing very dry and sunny weather across the region and this combined with very warm air moving in from North Africa is allowing heat to build day on day".
The Met Office has issued a "yellow" heat warning for the South East of England which will remain in place until 9am tomorrow morning, with high temperatures across the country.
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For the most part, this heatwave and severe weather has passed Ireland by, as Met Eireann are expecting temperatures to get no higher than 22C in Ireland over the weekend, and then drop to the mid-teens next week.
The World Meteorological Organisation said continental Europe's heat record is 48 degrees, set in Greece in 1977. Dozens of people were killed in two major forest fires previous year.
Large sections of the country are on red alert on the country's civil protection agency's danger scale.
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The latest long-range forecast comes as up to one million Brits overseas in the Mediterranean sizzled yesterday in temperatures peaking at 45.5C (113.9F), driven by an African plume of hot air sweeping across Europe.
In Greece high winds fanned risky wildfires which killed more than 90 people. Temperatures reached 33 Celsius in west London on Friday but are forecast to drop going into next week.
People cool off in an urban beach at Madrid Rio park in Madrid, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. EDF said the decision was made to avoid overheating the rivers.
BBC weather meteorologist Nick Miller says the recent wave may hit record highs and is "potentially risky". In Sweden July was a record hot month and wildfires burnt in parts of the country.
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Authorities in Sweden and Poland warned against swimming due to a bloom of toxic algae spreading caused by hot weather.