The heat wave is expected to last a week to ten days, that is to say at least until Sunday and perhaps until the middle of next week.

“For Thursday, we expect it to be the hottest day of this heat wave episode,” said the Spanish weather forecasting institute AEMET, expecting the thermometer to show a higher in the valleys of the Guadiana, the Guadalquivir and the Tagus and that the center of the peninsula is crushed under 40 degrees.

According to this source, minimum temperatures will also continue to climb to reach 24 to 26 degrees in the south and center of the country.

Almost all of Spain was placed on alert on Wednesday, with the exception of the Canary archipelago. Andalusia (south), Extremadura (southwest) and Galicia (northwest) are on red alert.

A maximum of 45.6°C was recorded at 5:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. GMT) in Almonte in Andalusia, while several cities in the south exceeded 44°C, such as Seville, Cordoba or Badajoz.

The temperature grip should loosen at the end of the week for Spain, in particular for the south and the west, while the situation will remain difficult for the northwest until the heat wave evacuates towards the North. To France, then the United Kingdom

The peak in temperatures should be reached on Sunday or Monday in France, according to forecasts on Wednesday from Météo-France.

“France is undergoing a heat wave which will become intense between Sunday and Tuesday,” noted the forecasters. “Temperatures will gradually drop from the west starting Tuesday, Wednesday.”

“The axis of the highest temperatures will extend from the Pyrenees to the Pays de la Loire between Sunday and Monday, with night temperatures which will not drop below 20 to 25°C and daytime temperatures which may exceed 40 ° C in many places, and locally 42 ° C”, they noted.

– Heat and flames –

The most affected regions should be the south-west and the lower Rhône valley (south-east) in particular.

With this heat, many fires are raging in southern Europe.

In Greece, a helicopter trying to put out a forest fire in Samos crashed in the Aegean Sea, we learned on Wednesday from the Greek coast guard.

“There is one survivor and a rescue operation is underway to find the other three crew members,” a coast guard official told AFP.

In Portugal, a fire overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday killed one person in the region of Aveiro (north), according to the emergency services. According to the newspaper Correio da Manha, it would be a woman in her fifties.

The center of the country, which has been in flames since Thursday, remains the most affected by the forest fires which broke out again on Tuesday afternoon, fanned by the heat and the force of the wind.

“We live in a region of the world where climate change will systematically worsen conditions over the next few years,” Prime Minister Antonio Costa insisted on Tuesday.

Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, has warned in recent days of a critical situation of “very, very dry soils” and the impact of temperatures on the glaciers of the Alps.

In France, two fires fed “by dry vegetation, in particular undergrowth” according to the authorities, have ravaged since Tuesday afternoon 2,700 hectares of pines in the Bordeaux region (south-west).

“We have two complicated fires”, with a “turning wind on the two sites” in Landiras, near Bordeaux, and in La Teste-de-Buch, near the very touristy dune of Pilat, “which forces us to reassess all the the device, “explained to AFP the commander of the fire brigade, Matthieu Jomain.

The intensity of this second heat wave to hit the country in a month could be “equivalent” to the deadly heat wave of August 2003 (with nearly 19,500 deaths in France), noted Matthieu Sorel, climatologist at Météo-France. It had lasted two weeks.

The high temperatures are then expected to spread to other parts of western or central Europe.

In the United Kingdom, the weather agency (Met Office) issued an orange alert before a wave of “extreme heat” from Sunday with temperatures that could exceed 35 degrees.