British tourists and expats across Europe have been told to brace for “much higher than average temperatures” as the heat has already claimed its first victims.
A 44-year-old man died in northern Italy this week while reportedly tracing road signs on the blistering tarmac.
His death has been linked to the record temperatures being experienced in the peninsula over the past few days.
The heat had already been deadly in Spain in late June, when a 47-year-old man died while ploughing a field in a town in Seville.
Spain, Italy, Portugal and France have been in the grip of a heatwave for several days, with scorching temperatures ramping up well above 40C in certain areas.
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The Spanish Andalusia and Valencia areas have already experienced heat in the mid-40C, while Italian weather agencies have issued weather alerts for extreme heat in several regions.
But over the next few days also countries less used to hot temperatures will likely experience sweltering heat.
Met Office spokesperson Grahame Madge told the MailOnline: “The heatwave conditions which are affecting parts of southwest Europe and northwest Africa are expected to extend eastward eventually reaching the Middle East later in the week.
“Much higher than average temperatures are also likely at times further north across Europe, but these will be shorter lived and less impactful.
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“Communities in the affected regions should expect health impacts and the potential for wildfires.”
Britons heading to the European continent have been urged to avoid being outside during the central hours of the day and to always carry water.
One unnamed UK tourist is known to have fainted in front of Rome’s Colosseum on Tuesday afternoon as temperatures topped 36C.
The woman was photographed recovering while sitting on the ground with concerned people around her offering a bottle of water.
While the continent is facing extreme heat, the UK is set to be remaining relatively cool over the next few days.
A Met Office forecast for Thursday read: “Another day of sunshine and showers, the showers less frequent and lighter in most areas than on Wednesday, though still perhaps locally thundery in Scotland. Less breezy, so feeling warmer.”
The weekend, the weather agency said, will see prevalently a “wet and windy” weather, particularly in northern areas.
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