Countries in the southern parts of the continent, already suffering from wildfires and severe thunderstorms, are expected to see their thermometers rise above 40°C. Italy’s health ministry issued emergency alerts for 16 cities – including Rome, Florence and Palermo – on Sunday, recommending people avoid direct sunlight during the hottest hours.
Temperatures are set to rise again across the country until Wednesday, with a possible peak of 46°C in Sardinia and 42°C in the capital, according to forecaster Meteo.it. Meteorologists expect the heat wave, dubbed Charon after the Greek god who transported souls to Hades, to subside from Thursday.
Italy was among the hardest hit by warm weather last year, reporting around 18,000 heat-related deaths, more than any other European country.
Climate change is driving higher temperatures and extreme weather across Europe, threatening the health of millions.
Spain also maintains barbecue. Temperatures in Madrid will rise to 41 degrees Celsius, according to the national forecasting agency Aemet. A “high risk” alert has been issued for the Andalusia region in the south.
In La Palma, Spain’s Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the forest fires that broke out on Saturday were eased with the help of improving weather conditions, the Associated Press reported, citing authorities. The fire forced the evacuation of more than 4,000 residents.
Israel joined Europe in experiencing hot weather over the weekend. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was released from hospital Sunday after recovering from dehydration after a day in the sun.
Climate change is increasing the frequency of extreme weather across the Northern Hemisphere, underlining the growing urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Last month was the hottest on record.
It’s a different story in the northern parts of the continent, where the weather is milder. London temperatures are expected to peak at 23°C on Tuesday, according to the Met Office. DM