Parched tourists seek gelato and shade in sweltering Europe
Thousands of people braved the sweltering temperatures on Wednesday morning (June 26) to follow Pope Francis' General Audience as the heatwave continued to grip continental Europe.
The weather has been caused by a storm stalling over the Atlantic Ocean and high pressure over central and eastern Europe, causing hot air to be sucked up from the Sahara desert, weather site AccuWeather said.
France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium are all experiencing hot temperatures.
On Monday, French forecaster Meteo France issued an orange alert, the second highest level of weather warning, projecting highs of 34C in the French capital, and up to 39C elsewhere.
The government there announced it would suspend exams sat by 14- and 15-year-olds, and authorities in Paris are setting up "cool rooms" in municipal buildings, opening pools for late-night swimming and installing extra drinking fountains as France braces for the "potentially dangerous" heatwave.