Three swimmers have died on separate beaches in southern France in the last few days, according to news outlet LCI.
One of them was a 70-year-old man who apparently suffered a cardiac arrest due to the “thermic shock” of jumping into cold water on a broiling hot day.
Current European heatwave caused by extreme seventh Rossby wave allowing tropic air into the far north. Just as 2003, 2006, 2015, 2018.#ClimateChange makes these e #heatwave. In 2003, heatwave killed more than 70,000 elderly people in Northern Europe. https://t.co/ThHD5qrWLc pic.twitter.com/5FKIlT5OZO— Mark Maslin (@ProfMarkMaslin) 25 June 2019
A 2,000 mile wide plume of hot air has been blown north from the deserts of Africa and is due to reach the UK later this week.
The heatwave has sparked some very odd behaviour elsewhere in Europe.
A 32-year-old German man in Hemer, near Düsseldorf, stripped off and ran naked through the freezer section of a supermarket.
Speed restrictions have been placed on the autobahns - which are usually unlimited - as the unusually warm weather raises the risks of blow-outs as the hot tarmac shreds car and lorry tyres.
On Tuesday, 25 June, a forest fire was raging north of Cottbus in Brandenburg state.
The fire was especially dangerous because of the risk of unexploded ammunition left in the area, which is home to a NATO military training range.
Bears and other animals at Rome Zoo have been given special ice lollies designed to cool them down.
In the seaside town of Eloro in Sicily 41 cars were destroyed by flames after a fire broke out in tinder-dry bushes close to a beach car park.
On Monday, 24 June, the French government suspended exams for 14- and 15-year-olds because of the heat.
Responding to accusations from the Opposition that they were over-reacting, Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said: "This isn't scaremongering. I'm asking everyone to take responsibility for themselves, their family and their neighbours and to avoid a backlog in emergency rooms due to people taking unnecessary risks."
In 2003 a heatwave killed 15,000, mostly elderly, people.
Paris has opened its public parks at night to allow residents without air conditioning to sleep in the cooler, open air.
🚨 Alert by the Emergency Response Coordination Center @eu_echo— EU Environment (@EU_ENV) 25 June 2019
By 27 June, the first heatwave for 2019 is expected to peak in 🇪🇺, with extreme temperatures all over Europe.
Be very careful, avoid any fire hazards and pay extra attention to your health.https://t.co/dmWSIM78vy pic.twitter.com/5xRExknEFF
The city of Lyon has created maps showing people where they can escape the heat, like air-conditioned museums and pools.
But Aude Lemonsu, who heads up Meteo-France's research centre, said air conditioning was exacerbating the heat in urban areas.
Mr Lemonsu said: "The more you use air conditioning in buildings, the more you heat the outside air.”
TV weather presenter Silvia Laplana riffed on the Game Of Thrones catchphrase "Winter is coming."
"El infierno (Hell) is coming," she tweeted on Sunday, 23 June, alongside a weather map.
A stifling 45 degrees is expected on Friday in the Catalan city of Girona, and 44 degrees in Zaragoza at the weekend.
Saharan heat bubble? I'm not even warm. pic.twitter.com/I3I5v2NP1x— Charlotte Rice (@Charlot39767861) 26 June 2019
Five northern provinces were placed on an orange high alert for a heatwave on Wednesday, 26 June, with another five to be added by the weekend.
Poland has also been experiencing high temperatures this month, which has led to 42 people drowning as they tried to cool off in rivers and the sea.
There has also been a surge in use of air conditioning, which led power generator PSE to warn of record rates of electricity demand.