The city of Ourense in northwestern Spain set a temperature record of 43.2 degrees Celsius (109.76 degrees Fahrenheit) on Tuesday, according to the Spanish meteorological agency AEMET.
Zamora set her own record on Wednesday, reaching 41.1 degrees Celsius (105.98 degrees Fahrenheit), according to climate statistician Max Herrera. On the same day, Soria set a record of 38.7 degrees Celsius (101.66 degrees Fahrenheit).
The central Portuguese city of Luz set an all-time record of 46.3 degrees Celsius (115.34 degrees Fahrenheit), while Lisbon set a July record of 41.4 degrees Celsius (106.52 degrees Fahrenheit).
But the worst is yet to come.
Spain and Portugal prepare
Officials in Spain and Portugal are bracing for the hottest day of the heat wave yet.
Temperatures will reach around 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of western and southern Spain, according to AEMET. In its daily update, AEMET warned that the hottest day of the heat wave is expected in Spain on Thursday.
The same is said about Portugal. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa told reporters that Thursday will be Portugal’s “most serious day” in terms of extreme weather, warning the country needs to “be more careful than ever to avoid new events.”
Eight of the country’s 18 mainland areas have been issued a red weather alert by the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA).
Costa added that in light of the heightened risk, the “state of alarm” in the country would be extended until Sunday.
Portugal continues to be one of the countries most affected by the current heat wave in Western Europe. There are currently 1,656 firefighters fighting 10 active rural fires across Portugal, the Portuguese Civil Protection Service said on Thursday.
More than 7,400 acres of forest have been burned in the Leiria region of central Portugal, according to the municipality of Leiria.
Thousands of people evacuated due to wildfires
France is in a similar predicament. More than 6,500 people have been evacuated from their homes and campsites since Tuesday as wildfires rage across the country’s southwestern regions, according to regional police.
More than 9,000 acres of land have been destroyed in two large forest fires in the Gironde department, according to a statement released by the departmental police.
About 1,000 firefighters from local and national brigades have been mobilized since Tuesday to stop the fire from spreading. Six bomber aircraft are also used.
Gregory Allione, president of the national firefighters’ federation, called on cities across the country to cancel the traditional Bastille Day fireworks display on Franceinfo on Thursday.
“The responsibility is to cancel them, the responsibility is to take into account that we are in a period of drought, a heat wave,” Allione said, adding that the fires “are still developing and today we expect to face difficulties.” considering rising temperatures and whirling winds.”
During a visit to the area on Wednesday, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told reporters that the authorities “have been on high alert in the coming days, especially in the south of France.”
The peak of the heat now falls on the Iberian Peninsula and will spread to the north and east in the coming days.
“Some models were producing maximum temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of the UK over the coming weekend and beyond,” Met Office’s Rebecca Sherwin said.
“There are likely to be adverse health effects for the entire population, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, which could lead to serious illness or life-threatening conditions,” the Met Office said. “Significantly more people are likely to visit coastal areas, lakes and rivers, leading to an increased risk of water safety incidents.”
The UK could also face road closures due to melting surfaces, as well as delays to rail and air services in the midst of a heat wave.
Brandon Miller of CNN provided the coverage.