Weather forecasters predict temperatures up to 42C in Italy, 40C in France and 37C in Switzerland.
Europe is bracing for another heatwave this weekend – and into next week – as temperatures soar.
The sweltering conditions are caused by a high-pressure system arriving from Africa.
This is expected to expand from Spain to central Europe lasting until at least next week, according to Swiss and French weather agencies.
It is forecast to engulf southern France, Switzerland, southern Germany, and northern Italy.
Weather forecasters predict temperatures up to 42C in Italy, 40C in France and 37C in Switzerland
Climate change makes heatwaves more intense and more frequent, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has confirmed.
Here’s what you need to know about how the heatwave will affect Europe.
Italy faces third summer heatwave
Italy will be hit by its third heatwave of the summer this weekend, according to weather experts.
Meteorologists are forecasting a “weekend on fire” with extreme temperatures and humid conditions between Saturday 19 and Sunday 20.
The soaring temperatures come amid warm air masses moving in from the Sahara across Algeria and Morocco.
Also known as a heat dome, this “works like a lid on a pot” according to the meteorological site Severe Weather.
Scientists have not found a direct link between heat domes and climate change.
However, a study in Nature found that limiting global heating to 1.5C instead of 2C would significantly reduce the number of people exposed to extreme temperatures caused by heat domes.
“The extensive dome of heat results in the trapping of a hot air mass at all levels underneath, with sinking layers toward the ground.”
The areas greatest affected will be the plains in northern Italy and the Tyrrhenian Sea coastline, where the mercury will hit 40C, and Sardinia which is expected to see 42C.
Experts warn that forecasts suggest the arrival of “the most intense heatwaves” in these areas.
Weather agencies have also put out heat alerts for cities including Florence, Rome, Bologna, Ferrara, Bolzano, Alessandria and Terni.
Forecasts suggest the soaring temperatures could last until 27 August, after which a storm front is predicted to hit Europe.
France could face its most intense heatwave ever
In France, seven departments in the southeast are on alert for incoming summer storms and soaring temperatures this weekend.
The heat dome of hot air is expected to sweep in from the south over the next few days.
The Mediterranean coast and the Rhone Valley will be among the areas worst affected, with highs of 40C.
Central and northern France will also see the mercury rise with Paris expected to swelter in 35C.
French weather agencies forecast the intense heat to last until the middle or end of next week.
Meteorologists also warn that this could become France’s most intense heatwave on record with average temperatures of 27C lasting several days.
Switzerland and Germany issue heat warnings
Switzerland will also be affected by the heat dome phenomenon over the coming days.
Authorities issued a level 3 (out of 5) heat warning for nearly all of the country that lies below 600 metres above sea level on Friday.
Temperatures are poised to rise to 36C in Geneva on Friday and intense heat will also hit the Jura valleys and northwestern zones.
The heat is expected to remain until well into next week.
In Germany, red alerts for heat warnings were issued in the capital Berlin earlier this week. The mercury is predicted to climb to 32C over the weekend.
Frankfurt will see temperatures over 30C for five days beginning on Saturday and Hamburg will hit 30.5C on Saturday.