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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.

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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

Italy braces for strong winds and heavy rain as Storm Louis approaches

Five Italian regions were placed under weather warnings on Monday as a cold front moves in from the Atlantic, with storms, snow and possible hail forecast.

Italy braces for strong winds and heavy rain as Storm Louis approaches

Storms, heavy rain and strong winds are forecast for Italy over the next few days as Storm Louis moves in from France.

The storm, which recorded windspeeds of over 100km/h, caused one death in France’s Deux-Sèvres department and left 90,000 homes in the north of the country without electricity last week.

Italy’s Civil Protection Department issued ‘yellow’ weather alerts for the northernwestern regions of Liguria and Piedmont on Monday, as well as for parts of Lombardy, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna.

In a press release issued on Sunday, the department warned of “widespread rainfall and heavy snowfall,” as well as “possible hailstorms and strong gusts of wind”.

Snow is expected above altitudes of 400-600m in southern Piedmont and the bordering Liguria hinterland, and at 600-800m in parts of Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto and the province of Trento, authorities said. 

A yellow alert is the least severe of Italy’s three-tier colour-coded weather warning system, but still indicates some level of risk.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What do Italy’s storm alerts mean?

River levels are likely to rise rapidly and waterways could become flooded, as could nearby underpasses, tunnels, and basement-level structures.

There is the occasional threat to public safety and the possibility that lives could be lost in unforeseen circumstances.

On Monday, an external staircase collapsed at a school in Genoa following several hours of heavy rain. No one was injured in the incident, though a parked car was reportedly damaged by the falling debris.

While the disturbance will begin in the north of the country, parts of Sardinia, followed by Lazio, Umbria and Marche, can expect heavy rainfall later in the day.

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