European holiday destinations are suffering in an extreme heatwave as air from the Sahara creates a “heat dome” over the Mediterranean.
The catastrophic heatwave raging in Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal is causing devastating wildfires and potentially the hottest temperatures ever seen on the continent.
It comes as a town on the Italian island of Sicily may have recorded the highest temperature ever reached in Europe as the mercury soared to 48.8C last week.
If the readings are approved, it will beat the record of 48C recorded in Athens, Greece, in 1977, as set out by the World Meteorological Organisation.
But could this heatwave, nicknamed ‘Lucifer’, make its way to the UK?
The extreme heatwave which may have registered Europe’s hottest ever temperature is being caused by an anticyclone nicknamed ‘Lucifer’.
An anticyclone is an area of high atmospheric pressure where the air is sinking.
Clouds tend not to form during an anticyclone because the air is descending, bringing hotter temperatures to the earth’s surface.
However, the anticyclone is not expected to come to the UK in the next few weeks.
BBC weather forecaster Ben Rich told Countryfile viewers last night there is “no chance” of that heat coming to the UK due to ‘two main players’ battling it out in the atmosphere.
He explained that a north-westerly wind off the Atlantic is actually pushing the heat from the south away from us.
This wind will bring cool weather, cloud, showery rain and “below-par” temperatures this week – although it will be quite dry.
The Met Office has responded to claims of another ‘heatwave’ and theories on what might happened towards the end of the month.
A spokesman said: “There is no indication in our forecast of any heatwave in the UK and certainly no indication that the heatwave impacting parts of Europe is going to impact the UK.”
“There’s been a lot of hyped up media coverage but there’s nothing in the forecast to suggest anything more than average or potentially slightly above average temperatures.”
The Met Office long forecast for September says there is a chance of ‘warmer than average conditions’ but also risk of ‘thunder showers and rain’.
It’s bad news for Scotland, which will likely experience more ‘unsettled conditions’.