No relief in sight for southern Europe’s heatwave

The intense heatwave that has been plaguing southern Europe shows no signs of abating next week.

Temperatures in Italy, Spain, and Greece have been exceptionally high for several days.

A weekend red alert was issued by the Italian Ministry of Health for 16 cities, including Rome, Bologna, and Florence.

According to Italian media, temperatures of 48 degrees Celsius (118.4 degrees Fahrenheit) have been predicted for Sardinia well into next week.

Temperatures in Sardinia are predicted to reach or even exceed the European record high of 48.8C (119.8F) set in Sicily in August 2021.

According to the Italian weather service, the island will be in the “epicentre” of the upcoming heatwave, which has been given the name “Charon” in honour of the Greek mythological ferryman responsible for transporting souls to Hades.

The Italian government has issued a warning to anyone in the areas affected by Saturday’s red alerts to stay out of the sun between the hours of 11:00 and 18:00, paying special attention to the needs of the elderly and the sick.

Temperatures in Greece have risen to at least 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in recent days. In order to keep visitors safe from the extreme heat on Friday and Saturday, the Acropolis in Athens was closed during those times.

At least 500 people have been evacuated from the Spanish island of La Palma due to a forest fire.

Temperatures in the Balkans are expected to reach 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of next week, though they have already reached that level in several countries, including Serbia and Hungary.

Natural weather patterns include periods of intense heat, but global warming is making these periods more common, more intense, and more prolonged.

According to the European Union’s climate monitoring service Copernicus, last month was the warmest June on record.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has issued a warning that extreme weather events are “unfortunately becoming the new normal” due to global warming.

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