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Europe in grip of 2021's first summer heatwave, but what are the record temperatures?

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By Euronews
In this file photo dated Thursday, July 25, 2019, a bird sits on a straw bale on a field in Frankfurt, Germany, as the sun rises during an ongoing heatwave in Europe
In this file photo dated Thursday, July 25, 2019, a bird sits on a straw bale on a field in Frankfurt, Germany, as the sun rises during an ongoing heatwave in Europe   -   Copyright  Credit: AP
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Europe is sweltering through its first heatwave of the year with the mercury expected to climb to 35°C.

According to weather service severe-weather.eu, the current episode of heat across Western Europe should expand east towards central Europe by the middle of the week.

"Daytime temperatures should push into the low 30s in many regions, possibly also into the 35°C range or even higher in some places," it said.

France's meteorological agency warns on its website that in the coming days "temperatures above 35°C at the hottest part of the day will affect the Mediterranean region and locally in the plains in Aquitaine" while temperatures of at least "30°C will be almost universal across the country, with the exception of regions near the English Channel."

Wednesday should be the hottest day of the week, before a stormy deterioration from the west ushers in a drop of temperatures.

For Meteo France, a heatwave is defined as three consecutive days of above-average temperature. The average temperature, calculated based on daily data reaching back to 1947, is currently set at 25.3°C.

It noted that the current heatwave remains much less serious than the "exceptional" one experienced in late June 2019, when 45.9°C was recorded in south-east France, beating the previous national record.

Across the Pyrenees, AEMET predicts that temperatures could climb to 36°C and above across large swathes of central, southern and north-eastern Spain on Monday.

Across the English Channel, the Met Office has warned that Monday could be the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures reaching 29°C in the south.