When will the European heatwave end? Met Office warns scorching temperatures will get even higher in late July

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As much of Southern Europe is gripped by its second heat wave in two weeks, the Met Office warns hot days are here to stay - for now

The Met Office has warned extreme temperatures in Europe are likely to get worse before they get better, with gruelling temperatures set to stick about until at least the end of the month.

Much of Southern Europe and the Mediterranean regions are in the grips of back-to-back heatwaves, with the anti-cyclone Charon sweeping its way across the continent. It comes on the tail of the Cerberus heatwave, whose effects first started to be felt on 10 July.

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A number of popular tourist spots in Italy have broken their own highest temperature records, and the Italian Island of Sardinia reached 47C this week - on track to potentially break Europe's highest ever recorded temperature.

Jason Kelly, the Met Office's chief Meteorologist, told NationalWorld heatwave conditions are still widely established across Southern Europe and Northern Africa and are expected to persist.

A man sits in a park in Madrid skyline during the heat wave in Madrid on 19 July (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)A man sits in a park in Madrid skyline during the heat wave in Madrid on 19 July (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)
A man sits in a park in Madrid skyline during the heat wave in Madrid on 19 July (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Instead of dissipating, he warned temperatures were likely to keep slowly intensifying, as the focus gradually shifts eastwards towards Southeast Europe throughout the rest of the week.

“The high temperatures are being driven by continued settled conditions under an upper ridge that is sat across the region, allowing temperatures to build day by day," Mr Kelly continued.

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"Unusually high sea surface temperatures are also occurring across the region, with many parts of the Mediterranean seeing surface temperatures as high as 29C." This would exacerbate the effects of the heat over surrounding land, he said.

There would be little relief from the heat, even at night, he said. "Even in coastal regions overnight temperatures are unlikely to drop much below the mid-20s.”

Temperatures in excess of 40C remain likely in areas such as Greece, the Balkans and Turkey towards the end of July, Mr Kelly said.

The ongoing heatwave is taking its toll across Europe, with the EU rushing firefighters to Greece throughout Wednesday, as raging wildfires cause thousands to be evacuated near the capital.

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The weather in Rome on Tuesday (18 June) was recorded at 41.8C, and local media reported an influx of emergency room admissions in the capital as locals and tourists alike struggled with the intense heat. This broke the record for Rome's highest temperature ever recorded.

This comes as a leading climate scientist - Professor Robert Watson, of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change - warned the Today programme he was “very pessimistic” about the world reducing emissions to limit the global average temperature to 2C above pre-industrial levels.

He warned that failure to do so will eventually result in more weather extremes, including heatwaves, floods, and sea level rise.

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