EUROPE is braced for its hottest day since records began today with temperatures likely to soar above the 118F high set 40 years ago.

Thousands of Brit holidaymakers and expats in Spain and Portugal will pile on to packed beaches as the heatwave peaks.


The blistering sunshine is widely tipped to pass the 118.4F (48C) recorded in Athens, Greece, on July 10, 1977.

And the deadly scorcher — driven by an African plume carrying Saharan dust with it — will spark a mini-revival of Britain’s heatwave with temperatures of 88F (31C) expected all weekend.

But it could also lead to a humanitarian crisis across Europe with the number of heat-related deaths likely to rise among the old and sick.