World

Scorching temperatures prompt Portugal to issue alert for health, possible forest fires

  • People sunbathe in a beach in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Weather stations across Spain are warning people to take extra precautions as a heat wave engulfs much of the country, increasing the risk of wildfires. The country's meteorological agency says a mass of hot air originating in Africa is moving northwards, bringing with it until at least Monday temperatures reaching 40 degrees centigrade (104 Fahrenheit). (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

    People sunbathe in a beach in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Weather stations across Spain are warning people to take extra precautions as a heat wave engulfs much of the country, increasing the risk of wildfires. The country's meteorological agency says a mass of hot air originating in Africa is moving northwards, bringing with it until at least Monday temperatures reaching 40 degrees centigrade (104 Fahrenheit). (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Children play as they cool down in a fountain beside Manzanares river in Madrid,  Spain, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Weather stations across Spain are warning people to take extra precautions as a heat wave engulfs much of the country, increasing the risk of wildfires. The country's meteorological agency says a mass of hot air originating in Africa is moving northwards, bringing with it until at least Monday temperatures reaching 40 C (104 F). (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

    Children play as they cool down in a fountain beside Manzanares river in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Weather stations across Spain are warning people to take extra precautions as a heat wave engulfs much of the country, increasing the risk of wildfires. The country's meteorological agency says a mass of hot air originating in Africa is moving northwards, bringing with it until at least Monday temperatures reaching 40 C (104 F). (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man cools off at a beach in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Weather stations across Spain are warning people to take extra precautions as a heat wave engulfs much of the country, increasing the risk of wildfires. The country's meteorological agency says a mass of hot air originating in Africa is moving northwards, bringing with it until at least Monday temperatures reaching 40 degrees centigrade (104 Fahrenheit). (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

    A man cools off at a beach in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Weather stations across Spain are warning people to take extra precautions as a heat wave engulfs much of the country, increasing the risk of wildfires. The country's meteorological agency says a mass of hot air originating in Africa is moving northwards, bringing with it until at least Monday temperatures reaching 40 degrees centigrade (104 Fahrenheit). (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)  (The Associated Press)

Portuguese health authorities have issued a weather alert, advising the public to take extra care as temperatures are forecast to exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in some southern parts of the country.

The General Directorate for Health recommended staying out of the sun Monday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. 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.

Neighboring Spain was also facing a heat wave as a mass of hot air from Africa flowed north to Europe.