According to the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA) highs in Lousã were followed by Santarém (46.2ºC), Amareleja (45.6ºC), Mora (45.4ºC), Alvega (45.2ºC) and Reguengos (45.1ºC).

IPMA meteorologist Pedro Sousa told Lusa that more than 50 weather stations recorded maximum temperatures between 40ºC and 45ºC.

For today, weather forecasts for mainland Portugal point to a "very hot" day, with a "slight relief" from the heat on the coast. From the weekend, on the coast, normal temperatures are expected for the time of year.

However in the northern interior region, particularly in Trás-os-Montes, the temperature is expected to increase on Thursday, with extreme heat expected to continue until Sunday, added Pedro Sousa.

The IPMA states that temperatures above 40ºC will remain “in most of the territory” on Thursday, with “the exception of some places on the coast”, a region where the temperature is expected to decrease on Friday.

In inland regions, high temperatures are continue until Sunday, the statement said, clarifying that the very hot weather "results from the circulation of a mass of very hot and dry air, originating in North Africa".