Europe's heat record could be broken in Spain and Portugal

As Europe bakes in another heatwave, forecasters say the all-time temperature record could be broken in the coming days.

The current European record is 48C (118.4F) set in Athens in July 1977.Temperatures are rising in Spain and Portugal, aided by a surge of hot air sweeping in from Africa.

BBC Weather says the current forecast for southwestern Spain and southern and southeastern Portugal is 47C (116.6F) on both Friday and Saturday.

Portugal's national record is 47.4C (117.3F), set in 2003. Spain's peak of 47.3C (117.1F) was only set in July last year.

In the UK, temperatures are expected to reach about 33C (91.4F) in the southeast.Spain's national weather service has put a warning in place until at least Sunday, saying the heatwave will be "especially intense and lasting in the southwest".

Europe's weather warning group, Meteoalarm, has already issued red warnings - categorised as very dangerous and posing a risk to life - for much of southern Portugal and for the Badajoz province in Spain

Italy has also issued red alerts across its centre and north, which includes the tourist hotspots of Rome, Florence and Venice.  Meteogroup said there was a 40% chance of equalling the 48C record from Athens - and "a 25-30% chance that we will break the European temperature record".

Ipma, the Portuguese national weather service, said the period of exceptional heat was comparable to the 2003 record-setting season.Even the lowest overnight temperatures would stay between 25-30C (77-86F) for much of the country, it said.

The sweltering Iberian temperatures follow weeks of sustained heat across Europe.