PARIS – Commuters are baring lots of skin in western European capitals and French authorities are reaching out to vulnerable populations as several European countries are seeing unusually high summer temperatures.
A mass of hot air moving north from Africa has driven up temperatures in Spain, Portugal, Britain and France in recent days. Temperatures in Paris are expected to hit 39 degrees Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) Wednesday afternoon, after southwest France saw temperatures of 42 C (107 F) and Cordoba in southern Spain recorded nearly 44 C (111 F).
Paris authorities opened special air-conditioned rooms to the public and were checking in on the elderly. France is particularly sensitive about the issue since thousands of people died in a heat wave in 2003.
British and Italian authorities are also on alert.