Spain is within touching distance of the hottest temperature ever recorded in the country (Picture: EPA)
Spain is waiting to see if a sweltering heatwave will break records for the hottest day ever.
The country is currently experiencing a stifling period of extreme weather, with temperatures topping 40C across the south.
In Sevilla, temperatures have already hit 43C and are set to keep rising into the afternoon.
Forecasters are predicting the mercury to hit 45C in parts of the country on what is expected to be the hottest day of the year.
It remains to be seen if the highest recorded temperature since modern measuring methods began is surpassed today.
That was set in 2017 when temperatures reached 47.3C in the Cordoba region.
In the southern Spanish province of Granada, where the mercury hit 40 degrees Celsius(104 F) by midday, few people ventured outside.
People are barely venturing out of the shade as temperatures hit dangerous heights (Picture: PA)
Those who did sought shade and stopped to take photos of public thermometers displaying the rocketing temperature.
Dominic Roye, a climate scientist at the University of Santiago de Compostela, said the hot air from the Sahara that had brought days of hot weather and wildfires continued to stream over to Mediterranean countries.
Experts are concerned about poorer families without air conditioning, especially with temperatures expected to remain as high as 25C through the night.
He said: ‘The heat wave we are experiencing now is very extreme, and a lot of people are saying that it’s normal as we are in summer. But it’s not, not this hot.’
‘The more intense the heat, the higher the mortality risk.
People are going to great lengths to try and stay cool during (Picture: Getty)
‘When you have high night temperatures, our bodies are prevented from resting.
‘The body is working and working to cool down. We have found a strong link between mortality and night temperatures exceeding 20 degrees (68 degrees).’
Elsewhere in Europe, Italy is also battling with extreme conditions.
Mid-40s temperatures were forecast for the Sicilian cities of Palermo and Catania, and as high as 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 F) for Rome, Florence and Bologna, all places that the Health Ministry put on red alert.
The heat wave has aggravated fires that have consumed forests in southern Italy, Greece and North Africa.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.