WEATHER: Italy set for another wet and windy Easter weekend

Rain, wind, and a few sunny spells if you're lucky: that's what the Easter weekend is expected to look like across Italy according to weather forecasts.

WEATHER: Italy set for another wet and windy Easter weekend
Rome's Colosseum is reflected in a puddle, as people walk in the rain. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

As the Easter weekend begins, unfortunately forecasts appear to confirm the ‘wet Easter’ trend of the past couple of years, as well as a sudden drop in temperatures. 

According to the latest reports, cold air currents from northern Europe are expected to swoop down on the northernmost Italian regions during the night between Friday and Saturday.

These cold currents are expected to cause rain storms across northern and central Italy all through Saturday.

The regions of Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto and Lombardy might also be subject to localised hailstorms, reports Italian weather news site Il Meteo.

Overall, the descent of the above-mentioned arctic currents means temperatures are expected to drop from the 25-27C seen over the last couple of days to around 15-18C this weekend.

On Easter Sunday, conditions will improve significantly in the north and centre of the country – but take your umbrella if you’re in the southern regions of Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria or Sicily, where rain showers are expected again.

Weather conditions should stabilise later on Sunday across the peninsula, with Sicily and the Salento region in Puglia as the sole exceptions: some rain showers and moderate winds might persist in these areas.

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Climate crisis: Italy records ‘five times’ more extreme weather events in ten years

The wave of severe storms currently hitting Italy has taken the number of extreme weather events this summer up to 1,642 - five times the number recorded a decade ago, records show.

Climate crisis: Italy records 'five times' more extreme weather events in ten years

The figures were released by Italy’s farmers’ association Coldiretti on Thursday, based on data from the European Severe Weather Database (ESWD) recording events including tornadoes, flash floods, sudden rainstorms (known as bombe d’acqua), giant hail and damaging lightning strikes.

“The long hot summer, characterized by drought, was interrupted several times by violent rainfall,” Coldiretti pointed out.

READ ALSO: ‘A code red’: Will Europeans change their habits after climate crisis ‘reality check’?

“This multiplication of extreme events has caused over six billion euros’ worth of damage to agriculture in 2022, 10 percent of the (value of) national production,” the farming association said.

“We are seeing the clear consequences of climate change, as exceptional weather events are now the norm in Italy too, with a tendency towards tropicalization manifesting as more frequent violent events, seasonal shifts, short, intense bouts of precipitation, the quick change from sunshine to bad weather, with significant changes in temperature that compromises crops.”

At least seven people were reported dead on Friday morning following flash floods in the central Marche region as the latest wave of bad weather swept the country.

Severe storms hit many central and northern regions on Friday morning, including Umbria, Abruzzo, Tuscany, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardy, and Molise, with bad weather spreading south.

File photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

Italy, along with much of the rest of mainland Europe, has suffered a series of heatwaves this summer that have fuelled forest fires and drained rivers.

The extreme conditions this summer caused a spike in heat-related deaths in Italy, and worsened the most severe drought the country had experienced in 70 years.

Average temperatures of between two and three degrees above the seasonal average were consistently recorded across the country between May and June, with spikes of up to 10 degrees in some areas.

The collapse of Italy’s country’s largest Alpine glacier in July also triggered an avalanche that killed 11 people.

“The year 2022 in terms of extreme climate events is code red,” said the head of Italian environmental group Legambiente, Stefano Ciafani, in an August report.