The World Meteorological Organization says continental Europe's heat record is 48 C (118.4 F), set in Greece in 1977.
According to Met Office data, the record for Spain was 47.3 degree Celsius, recorded on July 13, 2017 in Montoro, east of Cordoba, and for Portugal 47.4 degrees Celsius on August 1 2003 in Amareleja, in the south-central Beja district.
Portugal has issued red alerts for extreme heat for more than half the country Saturday, with thermometers approaching 46 degrees celsius.
The big picture: The heat wave will be most intense in Portugal, Spain and parts of France, although the United Kingdom will also see above average temperatures for this time of year.
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Portugal enjoyed its hottest day in nearly two decades on Saturday, as the average temperature across the country came in at a scorching 32.4C (90.3F).
The fires have since died down and firefighters from France, Germany and Portugal left Monday, at the same time as residents from a small town near the Arctic Circle who had been evacuated because of the wildfires were allowed to return home.
The country is on alert to prevent a repeat of its worst fires in history previous year when 114 people died.
With temperatures set to hit at least 46C in Portugal and Spain this weekend, British holidaymakers have been flocking to water parks and embracing the siesta as local emergency services warned they have seen a surge in fainting tourists. Fires in Greece, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Latvia have killed dozens of people and forced evacuations.
The Met Office says Europe's "furnace" heatwave means it is "likely" the continent's all-time top temperature of 48C will be broken.
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"The result of the hot summer will be a very big loss of snow and ice in the mountains", Professor of Geography Gunhild Ninis Rosqvist is quoted by the university as saying.
The U.K.'s Met Office weather service says July was the country's third-warmest month in more than a century. Power company EDF said the measures were taken to avoid temperature hikes in rivers from which water is drawn to cool the reactors.
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, temperatures are expected to peak at a toasty 36 degrees, which would be the hottest day Britain has felt for three years.
In eastern Europe, Poland was also enduring unusually high temperatures as the hot African air pushed temperatures up to 34C.
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