Scorching heatwave arrives in Italy with temperatures set to hit 40C

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Scorching heatwave arrives in Italy with temperatures set to hit 40C
The place to be this week is on an Italian beach. Photo: Oliver Moran/AFP

Temperatures are expected to reach 40°C (104F) in southern Italy this week.


Italy is set to experience its first heatwave of the year this week, with rising temperatures expected to hit the high 30s across most of the country in the coming days - and higher in parts of the south.
Most of the country has enjoyed pleasantly warm and sunny weather throughout July, but this is due to become an intense heatwave in the coming days as warm currents of air move in from northern Africa, picking up humidity as they cross the Mediterranean and creating sultry conditions in southern Europe.
"After an unusually cool first part of the summer in Italy, starting from Monday the subtropical anticyclone will return to the Mediterranean, meaning an intense heatwave on our peninsula," meteorologist Andrea Vuolo told Italian news agency Ansa.
Shutters closed against the sun in Emilia-Romagna. Photo: AFP
"The North African anticyclone will cause a sharp rise in temperatures, especially around midweek, where peaks of 38-40°C are likely to be expected. 
He predicted temperatures of "up to 34-36"C in much of the rest of the country.
Rome and Florence are set to sizzle in 37 degrees on Thursday while Milan will reach 35°C. 
Venice can expect to stay relatively cool with temperatures reaching a high of 31 degrees this week, while Naples will be one of the hottest areas at around 38 degrees.
Things will remain hot and sticky at night with temperatures set to remain above 20-22°C around the country.

By the beginning of August, forecasters predict cooler air from central Europe will sweep into northern Italy, causing storms in the Alps and bringing showers and a sharp drop in temperature across northern Italy.




While we're bracing ourselves for prolonged stickiness, we can take some consolation in the fact that forecasts say this heatwave will be shorter and less intense than those recorded in summer 2019, when most of the country sizzled in temperatures above 40°C.
The weather has been relatively mild across most of Italy in 2020 so far, after 2019 proved to be a year of extreme conditions - with an exceptionally warm winter followed by an intensely hot summer, and "extreme weather events" such as freak storms and flash floods throughout the year.

Violent storms and flash floods were also reported last week in areas including Milan and Palermo.

READ ALSO: Italian wine production drops sharply after year of extreme weather


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