'Hell is coming' 44c heatwave to hit Europe with hottest temp since scorcher killed 70,000

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The continent is expected to see the mercury soar to highs not seen since 2003, according to weather forecasters. 

It was then a monster heatwave is attributed with killing up to 70,000 people across Europe.

Weather forecaster Silvia Laplana, who works for Spain’s state-owned broadcaster RTVE, tweeted images of the forecast.

She wrote: “El infierno is coming.”

Infierno is the Spanish word for hell, showing the fear as Europe braces for another potentially savage heatwave.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) – run by the UN – has warned there is “maximum red alert” for parts of Europe. 

“The heatwave expected to peak, with extreme temperatures all over the continent, with many values over 36c and locally above 40c”

WMO

Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland and Portugal are also braced for the heatwave.

Hot air is being carried up from the Sahara Desert across the Mediterranean – sweeping its way north across Europe.

France is expected to reach temps of 44c in the south – with warnings high humidity could make it feel like 47c.

Paris officials have put the city on high alert – with hospitals and care homes braced for the heatwave, and schools expected to delay exams.

France heatwave

MERCURY RISING: Temperatures are expected to reach highs of 44c (Pic: AFP)

Germany is expected to see temperatures of up to 38c in Berlin, while Spain will see mercury rise to 36c.

Portugal and Poland are also forecast to see temperatures between 35c and 40c.

And Switzerland are also expecting temperatures of more than 30c – hitting 37c in Geneva.

In a post on Twitter, WMO said: “By 27 June, the heatwave expected to peak, with extreme temperatures all over the continent, with many values over 36c and locally above 40c.”

France heatwave

HEATWAVE: Sunseekers enjoy the weather in Paris – but it could turn fatal (Pic: AFP)

France heatwave

HYRDRATE: People are being urged to drink water amid the heatwave (Pic: REUTERS)

France heatwave

SUNSHINE: Temperatures of similar highs killed 70,000 across Europe in 2003 (Pic: AFP)

France heatwave

TAKE CARE: Ice creams are brought out at a care home in France amid the heatwave (Pic: AFP)

France heatwave

FEARS: France is on high alert amid the heatwave threat expected to peak today (Pic: AFP)

France heatwave

BEAT THE HEAT: Swimmers head into the water to escape the temperatures (Pic: AFP)

2003’s heatwave led to the hottest summer on record in Europe – hitting France particularly hard with 15,000 deaths.

It believed the continent-wide death toll during the summer was around 70,000.

Britain is believed to have seen 2,000 people die in the monster heatwave, while train lines buckled, and the tarmac melted on M25.

There was also a drought which led to crop shortfalls across parts of southern Europe. 

France heatwave

DROUGHT: High temps caused failed crops during the 2003 heatwave (Pic: GETTY)

France heatwave

SHADE: Cows huddle for cover under a tree to escape the blistering sun (Pic: AFP)

France heatwave

SUNSHINE: Tourists attempt to beat the heat in Rome (Pic: GETTY)

Britain is expected to avoid most of the heatwave, with temperatures expected to peak at 31c on Saturday.

The Met Office said: “[Today has] a dry but cloudy start for many, with the cloud slowly clearing to give warm sunny spells.

“Cloud persisting, perhaps, across eastern Wales, the Midlands, and the North Sea coast.

“A strong, gusty wind developing in far southwestern parts later.”

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