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    Intense heat wave to bake western Europe as wildfires rage in Sweden

    By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
    July 26, 2018, 6:56:53 AM EDT

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    A hot July across much of western Europe will climb to another level this week as a heat wave builds from Spain to Scandinavia.

    Anyone living in the core of this heat wave will be at a high risk for heat-related illnesses, especially the elderly and young children.

    Europe 7/23


    Warm nights will be uncomfortable for sleep and also further raise the risk for heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

    Some locations that may have their highest temperatures of the year this week include Madrid, Spain; Paris, France; Frankfurt, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Stockholm, Sweden.

    While unseasonable heat is expected each day through this weekend, the hottest conditions are expected on Thursday and Friday.

    High temperatures will soar to or above 32 C (90 F) from the interior of Spain through much of France, Netherlands, Belgium and western Germany both days. High temperatures may reach 35 C (95 F) in Paris, Brussels and Cologne.

    Temperatures may reach 32 C (90 F) as far north as southern Sweden, including Stockholm.

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    The continued hot, dry weather in Sweden will hinder efforts to put out numerous wildfires that have affected the country in recent weeks.

    Firefighters from several other countries including France, Italy, Norway, Germany and Poland have assisted in the efforts to tame more than 50 wildfires, according to The Local.

    Due to building heat and dry weather the Swedish government has forecast an extreme risk of wildfires across southern Sweden on Friday.

    The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency has called the recent fires the country's most serious wildfire situation of modern times.

    Sweden AP 7/23

    In this photo taken on Sunday, July 15, 2018, a fire engine arrives at the scene of a wildfire in Karbole, outside Ljusdal, Sweden. (Mats Andersson/TT News Agency via AP)


    Some respite from the heat will reach locations from central France to southern Sweden on Saturday as cooler air arrives. This cooler air clashing with the heat and humidity will result in a risk for showers and thunderstorms.

    Showers and thunderstorms will continue across Sweden on Sunday and Monday.

    The rain will be beneficial for firefighting efforts; however, lightning could result in the ignition of new fires.

    In Greece, wildfires raging near the capital of Athens have claimed the lives of at least 81 people. Most of the victims reportedly died in their homes or vehicles.

    Farther south, the break in the heat will be short lived as temperatures surge back to well above-normal levels early next week across much of western Europe.

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