Spain, Portugal issue health alerts amid scorching temps

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Spain, Portugal issue health alerts amid scorching temps
People cool off in a fountain in Cordoba on June 29, 2015. Spain's national weather office placed Cordoba, on red alert, the highest level in the scale, meaning soaring temperatures posed an 'extreme risk' to health. Temperatures soared above 40 degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across Spain and Portugal on June 29, 2015, prompting heat alerts, raising the risk of wildfires and drawing crowds to beaches and fountains. AFP PHOTO / CRISTINA QUICLER (Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)
A couple hug each other among the water streams of a fountain as they cool off in Cordoba on June 29, 2015. Spain's national weather office placed Cordoba, on red alert, the highest level in the scale, meaning soaring temperatures posed an 'extreme risk' to health. Temperatures soared above 40 degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across Spain and Portugal on June 29, 2015, prompting heat alerts, raising the risk of wildfires and drawing crowds to beaches and fountains. AFP PHOTO / CRISTINA QUICLER (Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman rides her bike through water streams in a fountain to cool her off in Cordoba on June 29, 2015. Spain's national weather office placed Cordoba, on red alert, the highest level in the scale, meaning soaring temperatures posed an 'extreme risk' to health. Temperatures soared above 40 degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across Spain and Portugal on June 29, 2015, prompting heat alerts, raising the risk of wildfires and drawing crowds to beaches and fountains. AFP PHOTO / CRISTINA QUICLER (Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman shakes her hair after cooling off in a fountain in Cordoba on June 29, 2015. Spain's national weather office placed Cordoba, on red alert, the highest level in the scale, meaning soaring temperatures posed an 'extreme risk' to health. Temperatures soared above 40 degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across Spain and Portugal on June 29, 2015, prompting heat alerts, raising the risk of wildfires and drawing crowds to beaches and fountains. AFP PHOTO / CRISTINA QUICLER (Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)
Holidaymakers walk next to a security sign at Cascais' beach on the outskirts of Lisbon on June 29, 2015. Temperatures soared above 40 degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across Spain and Portugal on June 29, 2015, prompting heat alerts, raising the risk of wildfires and drawing crowds to beaches and fountains. AFP PHOTO / JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO (Photo credit should read JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)
Holidaymakers protect from the sun in the shade of the beach umbrellas in the tourist village of Cascais' beach on the outskirts of Lisbon on June 29, 2015. Temperatures soared above 40 degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across Spain and Portugal on June 29, 2015, prompting heat alerts, raising the risk of wildfires and drawing crowds to beaches and fountains. AFP PHOTO / JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO (Photo credit should read JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)
A tourist uses an umbrella to protect from the sun as she goes for a walk by Cascais' beach on the outskirts of Lisbon on June 29, 2015. Temperatures soared above 40 degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across Spain and Portugal on June 29, 2015, prompting heat alerts, raising the risk of wildfires and drawing crowds to beaches and fountains. AFP PHOTO / JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO (Photo credit should read JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)
A man sunbathes next to the beach of the tourist village of Cascais on the outskirts of Lisbon on June 29, 2015. Temperatures soared above 40 degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across Spain and Portugal on June 29, 2015, prompting heat alerts, raising the risk of wildfires and drawing crowds to beaches and fountains. AFP PHOTO / JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO (Photo credit should read JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)
Holidaymakers row on their stand up paddle surfboards in the tourist village of Cascais on the outskirts of Lisbon on June 29, 2015. Temperatures soared above 40 degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across Spain and Portugal on June 29, 2015, prompting heat alerts, raising the risk of wildfires and drawing crowds to beaches and fountains. AFP PHOTO / JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO (Photo credit should read JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)
Four men sunbathe on a beach of the tourist village of Cascais on the outskirts of Lisbon on June 29, 2015. Temperatures soared above 40 degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across Spain and Portugal on June 29, 2015, prompting heat alerts, raising the risk of wildfires and drawing crowds to beaches and fountains. AFP PHOTO / JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO (Photo credit should read JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)
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LISBON, Portugal (AP) -- Spain and Portugal both issued weather alerts Monday, advising residents to take extra care as temperatures soared above 40 C (104 F) in some southern areas.

The Iberian Peninsula was sweltering in a heat wave brought on by a mass of hot air flowing north from Africa to Europe in recent days, though recorded temperatures fell shy of the day's forecast of a maximum 44 C (111.2 F).

With the temperature in Cordoba hitting 41 degrees Celsius (105.8 Fahrenheit), Spanish authorities placed the southern city on alert due to "extreme risks" from the heat. People across the southern half of Spain flocked to beaches, swimming pools and fountains.

In Portugal, a high of 37 C (98.6 F) was recorded in the eastern city of Beja, while the capital, Lisbon, sweltered in 35 C (95 F) heat. Portugal's General Directorate for Health recommended staying out of the sun between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Iberia is forecast to start cooling down on Tuesday when the heat wave is due to move into northern Europe, including the United Kingdom.

Portuguese authorities also warned of a high risk of forest fires in wooded areas of central and northern Portugal.

Official statistics show that after an uncommonly dry winter and spring, almost 54 percent of the Portuguese mainland was enduring extreme or severe drought at the end of May. With little rainfall in June, that percentage is expected to rise.

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