France has recorded its all-time hottest temperature amid a European heatwave that has prompted governments to issue health alerts, urging people to keep cool.
The heatwave has already caused flash floods and forest fires, grounded planes and buckled train tracks and led to school closures and warnings over air quality.
France has set up temporary water fountains in built-up areas and is allowing public pools to open late into the night. In Germany, people are filling hot water bottles, placing them in freezers and then taking them to bed.
As the mercury continues to rise – with potentially deadly consequences – experts tell the BBC what is behind the heatwave.
Why is this happening now?
Heatwaves occur across northern Europe when high atmospheric pressure draws up hot air from northern Africa, Portugal and Spain, raising temperatures and increasing humidity. In this instance, the exceptionally hot air has come from the Sahara.