Weather tracker: Record heat continues to scorch Western Europe | Extreme weather conditions

Record-breaking heat has continued to affect parts of Western Europe over the past week, with temperatures in the UK topping 40C (104F) for the first time since records began.

Several weather stations in London, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire broke the 40C barrier on Tuesday, with a maximum temperature of 40.3C in Coningsby, Lincolnshire. A further 39 stations in central and southern England also exceeded the previous highest temperature of 38.7C, which was set in July 2019.

England’s Central Temperature (CET), which is a daily temperature record dataset dating back to 1772, recorded the highest daily average temperature of 28.1°C, an incredible 2.8°C above- above the previous record.

Temperature records have fallen in many other countries across Europe, with 64 different regions in France seeing record highs and temperatures in Portugal hitting 47C on Thursday, a July record.

Dangerously high temperatures have had extreme consequences, with Portugal reporting more than 1,000 heatwave-related deaths since last week. At least 13 people have died in open water incidents in the UK since Monday.

Wildfires raged across parts of Europe and North Africa, with 37,000 people evacuated from their homes in France following the biggest blazes in 30 years. More than 20,000 hectares (49,500 acres) of land have been swallowed up in the Gironde region alone. Strong winds in northern Morocco have exacerbated the wildfires, with firefighters still battling the flames.

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There have been several fires in England and Wales, with firefighters in London declaring a major incident. The number of calls to the service quadrupled at the start of the week, with Tuesday being the busiest day in the capital since the Second World War.

Meanwhile, parts of southern and eastern China are struggling to cope with torrential downpours and unusually hot conditions. In Guanyun County, Jiangsu Province, a tornado tore through 11 villages on Wednesday, killing one resident and injuring 25 others. Along with torrential rains, temperatures have been scorching, with more than 900 million people feeling the effects of heat above 40C. This has coincided with a rise in Covid cases, and with the government making mass testing mandatory, this has resulted in unsafe conditions for those waiting to administer and receive tests. At least 24 people were taken to hospital with heatstroke.