Spain on weather alert as hot air sweeps in from Africa

People enjoy the sun at Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona, Spain
People enjoy the sun at Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona, Spain
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Much of Spain is on alert as the country's weather agency warns that temperatures could surpass 40C due to a hot air mass moving northwards from the African continent.

Spain's Meteorological Agency says eight provinces in the southern Andalusia region and around Madrid are under high risk because of the heat wave hitting the country starting on Wednesday.

Two dozen more provinces are also on a lower level of alert, with the agency saying that the mercury could hit 44C in three major river valleys on Thursday and Friday.

Authorities are warning against venturing outdoors during the peak sunny hours of the day and advising citizens to drink water and keep houses and vehicles as cool as possible.