Europe was swept by a severe heat wave
ROME, July 17 (IANS) Temperatures have reached an all-time high in Italy and Spain with even higher temperatures expected in the coming days.
The latest heat wave – the third in Europe this summer – comes as the continent hosts a record number of tourists, the first record-breaking tourism summer since 2019, China’s state news agency Xinhua reported.
Temperatures above 48 degrees Celsius were temporarily recorded on Sunday in the Italian island of Sardinia, in the Apulia region of southern Italy, and in La Palma, Spain.
The European temperature record is 48.8 degrees Celsius, and it was recorded in 2021 in Sicily. An official from the European Space Agency (ESA) told Xinhua that high temperatures across Europe could approach or exceed this level at any time in recent days.
In Italy, 16 cities, including Rome and Florence, were on red alert, meaning temperatures during the hottest part of the day could threaten the health of young, healthy individuals if precautions are not taken. Weather website Il Meteo said temperatures could threaten all records until at least Thursday when temperatures are likely to drop in many parts of the country due to rain.
Temperatures in Rome are expected to reach 43 degrees Celsius on Monday and Tuesday, which is a record high for the Italian capital.
In Spain, temperatures worsened due to wildfires that displaced 4,000 people from their homes in La Palma, in the Canary Islands.
The European Space Agency said earlier this week that temperatures could approach national records across Europe in the coming days, including in Italy, Spain, Greece, France, Germany, Portugal and Poland.
In addition to the effects of climate change, temperatures are being pushed higher by African weather currents moving north across the Mediterranean, local factors such as wildfires in Spain, and global events such as the El Niño weather phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean.
Il Meteo’s Mattia Giussoni said in a TV interview that the hot weather pattern in the Mediterranean is preventing colder weather systems from moving into the area.
Officials and experts have warned people in areas hardest hit by extreme heat to stay indoors unless necessary, stay in the shade outdoors, stay hydrated, and eat light meals.