- Red Alerts in Italy: 16 cities under red alert as extreme heat persists
- Heatwave Impact: Longer duration and elevated nighttime temperatures observed
- Climate Change Impact: Global warming intensifies heatwaves, making them more frequent and intense
In the coming days, the alerts, which imply risks even for healthy individuals, apply to popular tourist destinations such as Rome, Florence, and Bologna.
Already, the heatwave has persisted longer than normal, and nighttime temperatures have remained elevated.
Periods of intense heat are part of natural weather patterns, but global warming is causing them to become more frequent, more intense, and last longer.
The Italian government has advised residents of areas affected by Saturday’s red alerts to avoid direct sunlight between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and to take special care of the elderly and the vulnerable.
In Rome, 59-year-old tour guide Felicity Hinton told that the city’s navigation has become “nightmarish” due to increasing temperatures and overcrowding.
“It’s always hot in Rome, but this heat wave has lasted much longer than usual,” she said.
In recent days, Greece has experienced temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius or higher. To protect visitors, Athens’ Acropolis was closed on Friday and Saturday during the hottest hours.
On a steep slope with minimal cover, the Red Cross has been distributing water and first aid to visitors.
There are also concerns about an increased risk of wildfires, particularly in regions with strong winds. In 2021, severe wildfires ravaged Greece due to another exceptional inferno.
Germany and Poland are among the affected nations in Europe’s central regions, where high temperatures have also reached.
The Czech Republic’s meteorological agency warns that weekend temperatures may approach 38 degrees Celsius, which is unusually warm.
Saturday will bring heavy rain and gusty winds to portions of England in the United Kingdom.
Meteorologists explained that the jet stream’s southern shift, which fueled the scorching weather in Europe, also drew low-pressure systems into the United Kingdom, bringing unsettled and cooler weather.
The Italian Meteorological Society christened Europe’s current heatwave Cerberus after Dante’s Inferno’s three-headed beast.
The next heatwave, dubbed Charon after the ferryman who delivered souls to the underworld in Greek mythology, could send temperatures back above 40 degrees Celsius next week, according to Italian weather forecasters.
According to the EU’s climate monitoring service Copernicus, June 2018 was the warmest June on record.
In August 2021, the highest temperature ever recorded in Europe was 48.8 degrees Celsius in Sicily.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has warned that extreme weather caused by a warming climate is “unfortunately becoming the new normal.”