Italy sizzles again as new heatwave hits

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A man cools off at a fountain in central Rome. Photo Tiziana Fabi / AFP
16:05 CEST+02:00
After a weekend of fresher temperatures across Italy, the country is set to boil once more as another heatwave arrives, pushing temperatures up to 39 degrees Celsius.

The new heatwave, nicknamed 'Caronte', has already got the mercury rising and will cause intense heat and stuffiness right across the country. 

Temperatures will rise steadily throughout the week before peaking at the weekend, according to Il Meteo.

No rain is forecast except for a few isolated thunderstorms. 

Saturday will see highs of 37 degrees Celsius in Bolzano, Florence and Milan. Rome, Naples and Florence will be hotter still at 38 degrees, while a sweltering 39 degrees is predicted in northeastern Trieste. 

The Italian Met office, Meteo Aeronautica, has put out extreme temperature warnings for the next five days in six regions, and so far more than 1300 people have called the Ministry of Health's 'safe summer 2015' hotline (1500) because of the heat.

The new heatwave comes just days after the end of a previous bout of hot weather, which sent the mercury rising up to 40 degrees Celsius across many Italian cities.

The previous heatwave, dubbed 'Flegetonte' was lethal, killing more than 10 people and contributing in no small part to a tornado that ripped through Venice, leaving one dead and causing millions of euros worth of damage.

'Flegetonte' also generated a new record for electricity usage in Italy, thanks to a peak in the use of air conditioning.

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The new record of 56.883 MW was set on July 7th at 4pm and could well be broken again soon as the country continues to swelter.

The 'Caronte' nickname is taken from a classical figure who goes by the English name Charon.

In Greek mythology Charon was the underworld boatman who transported the dead across the flaming river Styx, a name which has many wondering just how hellish and deadly the latest heatwave will be.

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