Europe hot weather: What is causing the Saharan bubble - how long will it last?

The Saharan Bubble is expected to send temperatures soaring from today with conditions so extreme they “pose a threat to life”. Meteorologists believe the first heatwave of the summer has been caused by a 2,000 mile-wide plume of hot air travelling from Africa by a particularly strong jet stream. The Saharan Bubble is having a knock-on effect in Britain, with the recent widespread downpours and flooding clearing ahead of a sweltering weekend.

The Saharan bubble will push temperatures past 30C on Saturday, causing Public Health England to issue a heat health alert for the elderly and those with young children from tomorrow.

Weather forecasters predict France will swelter with the hottest weather, set to shatter the country’s warmest June on record, with the mercury potentially hitting 45C.

Northern areas of France will be worst affected, including Paris, where matches in the women’s World Cup are being held.

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Officials are now considering the introduction of water breaks during the games to let footballers cool down.

And volunteers in the French city are also helping hydrate the homeless, while local authorities have set up air-conditioned “cool rooms” where locals can shelter from the heat.

Elsewhere temperatures in North-East Spain and Italy are set to reach the low-to-mid 40Cs from tomorrow, while previous highs will be approached and possibly exceeded across the rest of continental Europe.

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Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, a climate scientist at Potsdam University, tweeted: “Heatwaves are silent killers.

“The 2003 European heat wave has caused about 70,000 fatalities.

“Last year’s hot summer in Germany has been estimated to have caused at least 1,000 excess deaths.”

In addition to France, weather forecasters predict the Saharan Bubble blast will smash new June records in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium.

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How to keep cool in hot weather:

The hottest part of the day occurs from late morning and mid afternoon, so stay indoors if you feel too hot.

Keep your house as cool as possible by closing curtains and blinds in rooms that catch the sun.

Ensure you carry a bottle of water with you when travelling.

And limiting how much caffeine and alcohol you drink helps, as they dehydrate you.

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