As Brits make their familiar complaints about the rainy, windy summer weather, extreme heat is gripping large swathes of Southern Europe and North America and breaking all sorts of local and national records.

The Italian island of Sardinia is expected to see a high of 46C today while temperatures in Southern Spain reached 44C yesterday. Meteorologists predict that Europe’s current record of 48.8C – set in Sicily two years ago – may be broken later this week when the Med’s heatwave is forecast to reach its peak. After that, scorching temperatures are expected to continue into August.