British tourists in Spain this week are facing sweltering temperatures with highs set to reach 44C in certain parts of the country.
Weather maps are turning gray in several areas of the Mediterranean nation in a worrying sign the devastatingly hot weather is likely to continue to have a grip on the country for days to come.
The area surrounding Zaragoza in the northeastern Aragon region could reach 44C on Tuesday afternoon, a map by WXCharts, which uses MetDesk data, shows.
The Valencia and Andalusia regions are also set for another day of extreme heat, with peaks of 43C temperatures.
The night will bring little relief to those hating hot temperatures, with highs remaining well above 35C across the entire country.
Similar temperatures appear likely to persist for days to come, maps show, although charts suggest only the Seville area may experience 42C-43C highs between Thursday and Saturday.
The heat is caused by a large area of high pressure stagnating over Europe and affecting not just Spain but also vast areas of Portugal and France.
Italians are also being tormented by sweltering heat, with the islands of Sardinia and Sicily set to see highs of 37C-40C on Tuesday afternoon.
This high pressure is preventing the “usual pattern of low pressure systems moving eastwards into Europe from the Atlantic”, MetDesk’s Lauren Herdman explained.
She told the Guardian: “This is known as a blocking high and results in very dry and stable conditions, as the fronts associated with more dynamic weather patterns are forced away by the high pressure.
“This phenomenon has triggered a heat dome, in which warm air is trapped under the blocking high.
“The pressure acts like a lid, forcing rising warm air to sink, compressing it slightly and raising its temperature as a result.”
Spain has been experiencing blistering temperatures for several days.
In late June, Madrid saw highs peaking at 40C, with people lamenting it was impossible to sleep at night even when using air conditioning.
Rocio, a young mother of three, told CGTN at the time: “I have three young girls, we come here to these water jets which are free and we can cool off a bit, it’s so hot in Madrid that we can’t even sleep, even with the air conditioning at full blast.”