British tourists in Spain have been warned by officials to exercise extreme caution as a dangerous heatwave is predicted for the country.
Winds from the Sahara in Africa with temperatures of 43C are expected to sweep across the country and last for a week.
According to the Daily Mail, popular holiday spots Andalucia and Murcia in southern Spain will be the worst affected, while temperatures in the north will be at least 38C in the shade.
The Daily Express reports that the Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, as well as the Canaries will also see extreme heat.
The Weather Channel's meteorologist Leon Brown tells AOL Travel: "Yesterday temperatures reached 40C in the south around Cordoba and Seville and will be around 42C today. It is also very hot across the north reaching 40C yesterday in Bilbao.
"The extreme heat is easing down in Spain after today with a few thunderstorms in eastern Spain, but still in the high 30s over the weekend to next week in the south and east. Coasts will be lower with sea breezes, temperatures around 33C near the Mediterranean. Northern Spain becoming quite a bit cooler by the weekend and next week with temperatures back down to the lower 20s and more cloudy weather from the Atlantic."
Leon added: "The reason for the heatwave is a plume of heat brought north from Algeria and North Africa by southerly winds. The heatwave is reaching southern Britain today but also across Germany and briefly southern Sweden before being swept away later this weekend.
"Next week the Mediterranean islands to Italy and Balkans, Greece and Turkey will be very hot with temperatures in the high 30s, a few spots possibly reaching 40C."
Leon says: "Last year there was a heatwave with temperatures in the low 40s in August in Spain. Again a result of southerly winds from North Africa."
Spanish authorities have advised people to stay out of the midday sun, wear loose clothing, a hat and UV-protective sunglasses, as well as use plenty of sunscreen.
They added that people should avoid spicy food, caffeine and alcohol as they raise the body heat and cause dehydration.
Think Spain reports that night temperatures will be at an average of 25C across the country and no rain is expected, not even in the usually damp north-west.
Spaniards' tips for keeping cool include putting bed sheets in a carrier bag in the freezer for two hours before going to bed, soaking flannels or hand-towels in water and placing them in the refrigerator and splashing cold water on pulse points such as the neck, wrists and behind the knees.
For Britain, Leon Brown tells AOL Travel: "Temperatures in central and southern England are expected to reach 28 to 30C on Thursday, and 31 to 32C is possible in the south east.
"For those heading abroad beware heat reaching 38 to 41C in south west France and similar over Spain.
"It will gradually turn less hot on Friday with a few thunderstorms close to south east England and heavier storms in France.
Leon adds: "In the UK this weekend it will be fresher again with sun and cloud in the south with temperatures back down to the lower 20s, but cooler and windy with rain then showers over Scotland. Gales for the north and west of Scotland on Saturday with gusts up to 60mph."
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