The European record is 48 ° C, recorded in July 1977 in Athens.
Temperatures crept into the low 40s yesterday and are expected to rise and peak at the weekend, with the highs expected inland rather than in coastal areas. The country went on high alert in an effort to prevent a repeat of the worst fires in history previous year, which killed 114 people.
Temperatures in the Iberian peninsula could reach 50 degrees Celsius this weekend, beating every record reached so far in Europe, a number of meteorologists have said, warning against wildfires and health risks, especially for seniors and children.
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Portugal has issued red alerts for extreme heat for more than half the country, with thermometers approaching 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 degrees Fahrenheit).
Portugal's weather agency says eight places in the center, south and east of the country have broken their local temperature records amid a heatwave.
Two men died of heat-stroke in the southeastern region of Murcia, Cadena Ser radio station reported on Wednesday.
According to the UK Met Office, the recent hot temperatures in Scandinavia have led to sea surface temperatures in the Baltic Sea rising well above 20 Celsius, as much as 5 or 6 degrees above average.
"People with heart and lung conditions, older people and young children can all struggle in warmer weather as their bodies find it more hard to cope with higher temperatures", O'Connell wrote.
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The news arrives on the heels of a heatwave which has hit all over Europe and the United Kingdom, with exceedingly high temperatures expected across the continent for the coming week.
"Hot and dry air originating off Algeria and Morocco will push northward to the west of Portugal and then steer north-to-south".
And as we move into the weekend the mercury will remain high, as blisteringly hot weather sweeps in from Spain and Portugal.
A Met Office spokesman said: "Temperatures will continue to build, but nothing quite as hot as what we saw towards the end of last week".
Southwest Europe is bracing itself for extreme heat and forecasters are advising holidaymakers to stay inside during the hottest parts of the day.
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