Cold snap: Italy shivers as winter rushes in

Temperatures across Italy plummeted over the weekend as a dramatic change in the weather brought wind, rain and even snow in some low-lying areas.

Cold snap: Italy shivers as winter rushes in
Wintry weather has arrived in Italy and is here to stay. Photo:

By Sunday the northern Alps were covered by the first winter snows, which reached altitudes as low as 400 meters above sea level in the coastal province of Liguria.


In the mountainous central region of Abruzzo the 3,000-meter Gran Sasso peak also received its first dusting of the winter, which was immortalized by one Twitter user.

The arrival of the first winter snow to Italy's mountainous areas will come as a relief to worried workers at Italy's ski resorts. Up until late last week record temperatures had been recorded for November, with last year's snow continuing to melt above 2,500 meters.

But it wasn't just those in the mountains who were feeling the pinch. Strong winds have been creating rough seas in the north easterly Adriatic coast, where members of the public have filmed dramatic waves breaching the sea walls near Ancona.

And meteorologists are predicting no end to the wintry weather anytime soon. A Mediterranean cyclone is set to arrive on Thursday, causing widespread bad weather.

By the end of the week, snow will cover even the low-lying plains of Abruzzo, which sit at just 200 meters above sea level. Experts are blaming the turbulent weather on this year's record strength El Niño.

Away from the mountains, night-time temperatures are set to drop as low as zero in the northern cities of Milan and Turin, while the temperature in Rome will remain firmly in single digits.

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Italy braces for first heatwave of the year with highs of over 30C

Temperatures are set to rise dramatically across Italy this weekend as the country prepares for its first real heatwave of the year, meteorologists said on Friday.

Italy braces for first heatwave of the year with highs of over 30C

People across Italy are preparing to head to the beach this weekend with unseasonably hot weather predicted to last for several days.

The heatwave is caused by an anticyclone named  ‘Hannibal’ sweeping in from Tunisia and Algeria, bringing hot air currents across the Mediterranean and as far north as Denmark and Poland, reports news agency Ansa.

Temperatures are forecast to rise above 32-33°C in parts of the Italian north including Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, and Emilia Romagna, before the heatwave expands towards the centre and south of the country over the course of the weekend.

The weather is already 8°C above the seasonal average for this time of year, according to Antonio Sanò, founder of the Italian weather site, and temperatures could rise by as much as 10°C.

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In a typical year these kinds of highs wouldn’t be seen until July, Sanò said.

The incoming heatwave will be particularly humid as the anticyclone is carrying moisture from the Mediterranean sea, according to IlMeteo.

However, the relative cool of the Mediterranean basin at this time of year will contain the heat and keep the temperatures from rising into the high 30s, as would happen if the same type of weather event occurred in August.

READ ALSO: Nine in 10 Italians ‘want more action on climate crisis’, new study finds

The heatwave will stretch over the weekend and continue into next week, peaking on Tuesday, according to weather reports.

Patchy thunderstorms typical of midsummer weather are anticipated in the Alps and the Po Valley, while the centre-south is set to experience hot and sunny conditions bar some isolated storms in the mountains of Abruzzo on Sunday.