Italy’s bad weather ‘likely to last until end of May’

Italy's recent spell of wet and stormy weather shows no sign of letting up this week - and could last until the end of the month, if not beyond, say meteorologists.

Italy is expected to experience mostly bad weather until the end of May.
Intense rain, hail and strong winds swept northern Italy on Thursday and Friday following days of intense heat. Photo by VALERY HACHE / AFP.

Forecasts showed a cyclone sweeping in from Tunisia in the early hours of Monday would bring heavy rain and possible floods to Sicily before moving up to the rest of the south and the centre of the country.

Emilia Romagna and Umbria in the centre-north of Italy face a risk of hailstorms, while gale-force winds of over 120km per hour are predicted along parts of the peninsula’s western coastline, with possible storm surges in Lazio, Campania and Calabria.

Italy’s Civil Protection Department issued a high-level red weather warning for parts of western Sicily, as well as a medium-high orange risk alert for Emilia Romagna.

Lower-level yellow alerts were issued for Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise and Puglia, and parts of Sicily and Emilia Romagna.

Schools were closed on Monday in the Sicilian capital of Palermo, as Mayor Roberto Lagalla encouraged residents to limit their travel as far as possible and avoid underpasses and watercourses.

Italy has already experienced 89 storms so far in the first half of May, according to the farmer’s association Coldiretti, causing damage to crops along the length of the peninsula.

Recent forecasts indicate that parts of the country could receive two months’ worth of rain in the space of a few days, bringing the risk of flash floods.

Meteorologists say Italy’s unseasonably wet weather is due to the prolonged absence of an anticyclone, which typically brings stable conditions and clear skies.

It was a series of African anticyclones that last year caused a months-long heatwave in Italy that lasted throughout the spring and into the summer.

This absence of an anticyclone is a state of affairs that could persist “at least until the end of the month”, according to meteorologist Mattia Gussoni from the weather site ilmeteo – though there will be pockets of calm with higher temperatures.

In fact, forecasts from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts indicate that frequent cool and rainy phases could continue into June and even as far into the summer as August.

Extreme bad weather in Emilia Romagna earlier this month has caused an estimated at one billion euros of damage in the Romagna and Bologna areas, according to news outlets.

Two people lost their lives in the storms, one person swept in a flash flood as he tried to cycle down a path and another after their home was crushed under a landslide caused by the downpours.

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Italy set for ‘summer-like’ weekend with peaks of 30C

Autumn weather is delayed again in Italy, as many parts of the country can expect an unseasonal rise in temperatures this weekend.

Italy set for ‘summer-like’ weekend with peaks of 30C

Much of Italy is set to see temperatures far above typical autumn averages this weekend in what national media have branded ‘a summer comeback’. 

A new high pressure system sweeping in from northern Africa, nicknamed ‘Apollo’, will push daytime temperatures in some areas up by as much as six degrees starting from Friday, according to the latest forecasts.

The highest increases are expected in the north and centre, with parts of the Po Valley region and areas of Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria all forecast to see the mercury shoot up to the 30C mark between Saturday and Sunday.

For once, conditions should be slightly cooler in the south due to some cool air currents blowing in from Greece. Even in the mezzogiorno though, daytime readings are unlikely to fall below 27-28C.

Unusually warm temperatures were also expected in other parts of Europe this weekend, with forecasters in France predicting record temperatures for this time of year.

The incoming spell of ‘summer-like’ weather should continue in Italy well into next week, with unseasonal temperatures and clear skies forecast until at least Wednesday, October 4th. 

That’s when an unstable weather front from northern Europe is expected to reach the country, likely bringing showers to northern regions and gradually causing an overall drop in daytime temperatures across the country.  

According to long-term projections however, Italy may see another spell of warm weather by mid-October, which would push the start of typical autumn weather further down the road.