Three dead in European 'hell' heatwave as Britain braces for 31c weekend temperatures

People cool off in the fountain of the Trocadero in Paris (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
People cool off in the fountain of the Trocadero in Paris (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

At least three people have died in France in the heatwave dubbed ‘hell’ sweeping across Europe.

The ‘Saharan Bubble’ weather system is forecast to cause temperatures as high as 45 degrees in Paris by Friday.

According to reports, three people have died in France so far this week in the south of the country - one on Monday and two yesterday - after diving into the sea to cool off causing their deaths by ‘cold shock’.

Temperatures in Britain over Friday and Saturday are expected to top 30 degrees as the heatwave arrives over the Channel.

Peak temperatures forecast for heatwave. See story WEATHER Storms. Infographic from PA Graphics
Peak temperatures forecast for heatwave. See story WEATHER Storms. Infographic from PA Graphics
A man sitting at Drachenberg mountain watches the sun rising over Berlin on June 26, 2019). - As Europe sizzled at the start of a heatwave tipped to break records, meteorologists blamed a blast of torrid air from the Sahara for the unusually early summer heatwave, which could send thermometers above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in some places in Europe on Thursday and Friday. (Photo by Kay Nietfeld / dpa / AFP) / Germany OUT        (Photo credit should read KAY NIETFELD/AFP/Getty Images)
Europe is sizzling at the start of a heatwave tipped to break records (Getty Images)

The west of the country will get the best of the weather on Friday, before that switches to the east of England the following day.

Glastonbury festival is likely to have temperatures in the high 20s over the weekend.

France is introducing safety measures such as temporary fountains and longer opening hours for public pools.

A heatwave in the country in 2003 was blamed for 15,000 deaths, many of whom were elderly.

The Glastonbury Festival is set for clement conditions this year
The Glastonbury Festival is set for clement conditions this year
People cool off in a fountain in Pamplona, northern Spain (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
People cool off in a fountain in Pamplona, northern Spain (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Met Office forecaster Matthew Box said: “There is an enormous reservoir of warm air across Europe at the moment. On Friday we will have high pressure over the UK and low pressure out in the Atlantic, and that will bring settled weather conditions across the UK and an easterly flow of air across the southern half of the country.

“Those easterly winds are drawing that warm air from the near continent and that reservoir across the UK and that’s why we’re getting those warm temperatures.

“We are looking at 28 or 29 degrees (82-84F), perhaps peaking at 30 here or there on Friday and that will be across western or south-western parts of the UK.

“Then we could see 30 or 31 across eastern areas of England; London and the Home Counties through Lincolnshire and parts of Yorkshire, on Saturday.”

Switzerland has been hit by temperatures of up to 39 degrees (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)
Switzerland has been hit by temperatures of up to 39 degrees (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

The high temperatures in Europe are being caused by what has been dubbed the ‘Saharan bubble’, a 3,200km-wide plume of hot air which has blown in from North Africa.

Meteorologist Silvia Laplana tweeted a graphic of the scorching temperatures heading to Europe this week along with the message: “El infierno [hell] is coming”.

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Britain will be left relatively unscathed, with unsettled weather moving in from the Atlantic on Sunday.