A mass of hot air moving north from Africa is bringing unusually hot weather to western Europe, with France the next in line for a scorching day.

Forecasters said southern France could see temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, a day after Cordoba in southern Spain recorded nearly 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit.)

Spain and Portugal issued weather alerts Monday, advising residents to take extra care, as the heat plume passed through the Iberian peninsula.

After France, the United Kingdom will feel the northern edge of the hot air mass on Wednesday, when temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) are expected in London.

Nicola Maxey of the UK Met Office said the heat will begin to taper off from Thursday.

Both France and the UK have issued heat alerts.