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Lake Como homes evacuated amid flash floods in northern Italy

Houses were evacuated and roads closed around Lake Como on Wednesday after heavy rain caused floods and landslides.

Lake Como homes evacuated amid flash floods in northern Italy
Floods in the province of Lecco, Lombardy. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco/Twitter

Parts of the province of Lecco in Lombardy were left underwater in Italy's latest bout of extreme weather, which came as the centre and south of the country braced itself for an early heatwave

Homes, farms and a campsite had to be evacuated after severe storms overnight left rivers dangerously swollen.

Train services were disrupted and several roads were impassable, including the route around part of Lake Como. 

The downpours combined with melting snow in the mountains sent more than a thousand cubic meters of water per second flooding into the lake at one point this afternoon. Parts of the road that rings it were under more than a metre of water.

High water and fallen trees were also reported in the provinces of Como, Brescia and Sondrio.

Several parts of the region saw hailstorms overnight, with people in Bergamo province left shovelling ice from the roads.

Some residents shared pictures of huge hailstones that looked to be the size of eggs.

Meanwhile sudden strong winds yesterday in Bolzano, in the region of Trentino-Alto Adigo, toppled a tree onto a walkway, badly injuring a German tourist and her young son.

Conditions are set to change abruptly in the coming days, with temperatures forecast to climb above their seasonal average all over the country.

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WEATHER

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 IlMeteo.it, and temperatures could rise by as much as 10°C.

READ ALSO: From Venice to Mont Blanc, how is the climate crisis affecting Italy?

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.

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