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It's about to get even hotter in Italy

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It's about to get even hotter in Italy
Tourists cool off in a Milan fountain on a hot summer's day. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP
11:26 CEST+02:00
If you're already sweltering in the Italian summer temperatures, we've got some bad news: the heatwave is just getting started.

After a mid-June heatwave which saw temperatures reaching up to 36C, the start of the week brought relief thanks to winds sweeping in from the north.

But the mercury is about to rise again, with perceived temperatures likely to approach 40C according to the forecasters at Meteo.it. The warm spell is expected to last through the weekend and will be more intense than the previous heatwave, meteorologists said.

Between Wednesday and Sunday, temperatures are predicted to be as much as 8C higher than the seasonal average, with the north, centre-west, and Sardinia getting very hot indeed.

On Wednesday, temperatures were above 30C across the peninsula and highest in northern inland areas, with Bologna expected to reach 35C by early afternoon. And most of the country will see an increase in temperatures on Thursday, and again on Friday, as a north African anticyclone makes its way north.

Florence, Bologna, and Trento are expected to reach peaks of 37-8C, while in Rome the mercury will hit 35C. However, in urban areas it will feel even hotter than it is, due to the humidity.

READ ALSO: Escape the heat at one of these beautiful Italian lakes

In the Alps, temperatures are predicted to remain in the mid-20s even at altitudes of 1,500 metres. Madonna di Campiglio, a winter ski resort in the northern Trentino region, temperatures were a pleasant 21C on Wednesday, unusually high for the time of year.

And even at night, in large urban centres the mercury is unlikely to drop much below 27C - bad news for anyone counting on a good night's sleep.

The hot weather is also causing serious drought problems.

Emilia Romagna and Tuscany have both declared a regional state of emergency due to the water shortage, while Sardinia has called a state of natural disaster.

After the second hottest spring in 60 years, and the driest in that same period, Italy has missed out on about a month's worth of rainfall. The below images, taken by NASA from space, show the visible effect of the drought.

READ ALSO: How to make the perfect gelato

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