(BELGRADE, Serbia) — No wonder it’s been dubbed “Lucifer.”
A relentless heat wave that gripped parts of Europe this week has sent temperatures soaring to record highs for several days, causing at least two deaths and prompting authorities to issue severe weather warnings.
“It is just too much,” real estate agent Sasa Jovanovic, 52, said during an early morning walk in Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, where the temperature was forecast to hit 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit) Saturday. “Sometimes it feels as if I cannot breathe.”
The extreme heat stifling Serbia, Romania, Croatia and parts of Spain, France and Italy has fueled wildfires, damaged crops and strained energy and water supplies. Authorities in some areas issued traffic restrictions and banned outdoor work during the hottest part of the day.
Spain’s national weather service on Saturday issued an emergency warning for high temperatures in 31 of the country’s 50 provinces as forecasts predicted temperatures of up to 44 C (111.2 F).