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WEATHER

MAP: The hottest parts of Italy this weekend

Italy has placed 16 cities under ‘red alert’ on Saturday as the latest intense heatwave sweeps the country.

MAP: The hottest parts of Italy this weekend
Rome is sizzling this week in higher temperatures than the seasonal average. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Italy’s latest heatwave is set to peak in all parts of the country “within the next 24-36 hours”, according to weather reports on Friday, with temperatures of “38-40°C in the shade, in particular in the Po Valley, Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio”.

The cities and provinces of Perugia and Palermo are already under the maximum level ‘red alert’ heat warning on Friday, August 5th.

READ ALSO: What temperatures can we expect in Italy in August?

The number rises to 16 on Saturday, with the addition of Bolzano, Brescia, Campobasso, Florence, Frosinone, Latina, Milan, Rieti, Rome, Turin, Trieste, Venezia, Verona and Viterbo.

‘Red alert’ or bollino rosso heat warnings indicate extreme conditions that can be harmful to the health of the general population.

Many other cities in northern and central Italy on Friday were under level two ‘amber alert’ warning, which mean extreme heat poses a risk to more vulnerable groups such as the elderly or very young.

Weather warnings in place in Italy’s main cities for Friday, August 5th. Image: Italian Health Ministry

The stifling conditions in many areas will also worsen air pollution, the ministry warned, meaning that those with respiratory problems or allergies are also liable to suffer.

But even those in good physical health are at risk of dehydration, sunstroke, sunburn and exhaustion, authorities warn.

After a series of prolonged heatwaves this summer, the good news is that the current one won’t last as long, forecasters said on Friday.

“In the north we will see a drop in temperatures already on Sunday, in the centre from Monday, and probably from Tuesday we will be able to breathe again in the south, even with some scattered rain,” wrote Antonio Sanò, director of the Il Meteo weather website.

READ ALSO:

The health ministry is urging people to take precautions including staying indoors in the afternoon when the heat is most intense, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding physical exercise during the day. It also asks people to check on neighbours living alone, particularly the elderly.

The government has also reminded people not to call emergency services unless essential to avoid overstretching resources.

In Italy, prolonged hot and dry conditions this year so far have already resulted in the worst drought in 70 years and a wildfire season three times worse than average.

Experts have repeatedly attributed the increasing frequency and intensity of heatwaves and other extreme weather events in Italy to global heating.

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WEATHER

‘Winter is starting’: Italy braces for snow and storms as cold snap arrives

Northern Italy woke to freezing temperatures on Friday while Vesuvius was dusted with snow as long-delayed winter weather arrived in Italy.

‘Winter is starting’: Italy braces for snow and storms as cold snap arrives

A cold front arriving from northern Europe brought temperatures as low as minus 18 degrees Celsius in the eastern Alps in the early hours of Friday, while minus 14 was recorded in Garfagnana, and minus 5 in Milan, Turin and inland Sicily.

Snow also fell at higher altitudes in the south overnight, with local residents capturing images of Vesuvius covered in a dusting of snow.

“Winter is starting,” Claudio Cassardo, climatologist at the University of Turin, told newspaper La Repubblica on Friday.

“We will return to normal seasonal temperatures. However, we’re no longer used to the cold and snow”.

While the north in particular shivers in freezing temperatures and snow was forecast for many areas, including at lower altitudes, central and southern regions were warned to expect heavy rain and stormy conditions from Friday and into the weekend.

Italy’s Department for Civil Protection issued a lower-level alert for storms on Friday in parts of five southern Italian regions, including Basilicata and Calabria, and a medium-level amber alert for Campania, where the agency warned of a risk of hailstones and flash floods.

Showers, strong winds and thunderstorms are expected to spread further across the centre-south and to the Adriatic coast by Saturday, when temperatures are again forecast to drop below zero in inland parts of the centre and north.

Weather website Meteo3B predicted temperatures would drop to 0-1 C across much of the north overnight and in the early morning on Saturday.

Forecasts showed the mildest temperatures in the coming days would be in the southeastern region of Puglia and along the southern coasts of Sicily and Calabria, where a steady 8-10 degrees Celsius is expected over the weekend.

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