Italy issues red alert heatwave warning for five cities on Friday.
Italy faces another heatwave in the coming days, after the mid-August Ferragosto holiday, with temperatures set to exceed 40° Celsius this weekend.
The rising temperatures are the result of the Anticyclone Nero bringing a wave of hot air from Africa, according to IlMeteo.it weather forecast website.
Italy will also experience intense humidity – muggy air known as Afa – typical of the midsummer season.
Temperatures are set to peak at 42°C on the island of Sardinia over the weekend, reaching highs of up to 37-39°C in Rome.
Italy’s health ministry has issued a level three ‘red alert’ heatwave warning for Thursday in Bolzano, Brescia and Florence, with the addition of Bologna and Perugia on Friday.
A level two orange warning is in place in Rome on Thursday and Friday, along with Frosinone, Latina, Rieti, Verona, Bologna and Perugia (the latter two cities move to level three on Friday).
Level 3 bollino rosso
The red bollino rosso alert indicates emergency conditions with possible negative effects on not just the elderly, sick or very young, but also on healthy and active people.
Level 2 bollino arancione
The orange bollino arancione indicates weather conditions that pose risks of negative effects on the elderly, sick or very young.
The health ministry recommends avoiding exposure to the sun and outdoor activity in the middle of the day, as well as advising people to drink plenty of water, eat lightly and preserve their medication in a cool place. Dogs should be walked early in the morning and late evening.
This summer Italy launched the 1500 helpline to provide people with useful tips on how to cope with the heat as well as information about social and health services available around the country.
For heatwave updates see health ministry website.