A man rests next to the beach during a hot summer day in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Red alerts for Portugal, Spain amid smothering heat wave

August 04, 2018 - 7:48 am

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal and Spain are sweltering under an intense wave of heat that has produced near-record temperatures in the southern European countries.

Portugal has issued red alerts for extreme heat for more than half the country Saturday, with thermometers approaching 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 degrees Fahrenheit). The country's highest ever recorded temperature was 47.4 C (117.3 F) in 2003.

The hot, dry conditions have led to several wildfires in Portugal. The biggest outbreak has burned 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) near the town of Monchique in the southern Algarve region.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa warns "it's a very serious situation of extreme heat."

Spain has also issued warnings of extremely high temperatures for its southern areas.

The hot air mass coming in from Africa is also bringing dust from the Sahara Desert.

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