A heatwave is expected to hit Malta between Saturday and Wednesday, according to the Meteorological Office. 

“With the daily maximum temperatures from Saturday until at least Wednesday expected to be 37°C or more, a heatwave is expected,” a Met Office spokesperson said.

The temperature is expected to feel a couple of degrees higher, and by Tuesday it will feel like 40°C.

Tuesday is expected to feel like 40 degrees, according to the weather forecast on the airport website.Tuesday is expected to feel like 40 degrees, according to the weather forecast on the airport website.

Temperatures must be higher than average by five degrees for three or more days in a row to classify as a heat wave.

The mean temperature for July is 31.7°C, based on data from 1991 to 2020, the Met Office said.

Meanwhile, in a statement on Thursday, the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate said that with temperatures set to rise, avoiding dehydration was important to avoid heat exhaustion or heatstroke. 

The directorate warned the public to stay hydrated and care for the vulnerable. 

Other guidelines include reducing exposure between 11am and 4pm and keeping out of direct sunlight where possible. 

Young children and pets should not be left alone in cars, and loose-fitting clothing and hats are advised. 

The UV index is forecast to rise to 11, meaning there is a very high risk of harm to unprotected skin.

Health experts advise people to wear UV-blocking sunglasses and sunscreen.

It's hot all over Europe

July in Malta got off to a hot start, with the Met Office noting it has issued two heat advisories since the beginning of the month. 

Such notices are given if the temperature exceeds 33 degrees, which happened on Wednesday and Thursday.

But the heatwave is building all across Europe.

Parts of Italy are forecast to see highs of 48°C in the coming days stoking fears of an increase in heat-related deaths. Croatia, France, Greece, Spain and Turkey could also face temperatures of around 40°C, partly due to the Cerberus weather system, which is moving across the continent from the Sahara.

Earlier this month, the World Meteorological Organisation said the world had experienced the hottest week on record, following the hottest June on record. 

The WMO linked the high temperatures to human-induced climate change and the El Niño phenomenon, which it said was likely to "further fuel the heat both on land and in the oceans".

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