47 degrees are expected in Sardinia, 45 in Sicily, 44 in Puglia. The heat bubble that is affecting Italy is one of three that are making three continents red-hot these days: Europe, Asia and North America. Many records for maximum temperatures have already been broken (in China reached 52 degrees, a national record) and others are about to be retouched, like the Italian and European one of 48.8 °C measured in Sicily in August two years ago (approved on Monday by the World Meteorological Organization), and the world one of 54.4 degrees in Death Valley (higher temperatures measured in various locations are not considered reliable by the international scientific community).
The heat wave
In Spain today they are expected 44 degrees in the Cordoba area, in France 40 degrees in Provence and Corsica. According to experts, Rome too could exceed the record of 40.7 degrees recorded at the Rome Urbe meteorological station on June 22, 2022. «We are doing everything we can to alleviate this situation. We are at unprecedented temperatures, climate change is making itself felt. We are making the most of formulating a hot Plan. However, bathing in the fountains is not done», said the mayor of Rome Roberto Gualtieri. On Monday, new records were already established in Sicily in Trapani (43.5 °C), Marsala (43.3) and Erice (40.4).
The peak of Saharan heat is expected between Tuesday and Wednesday. While in the North the heat could subside between Thursday and Friday, in the Center-South it will continue throughout the week. Of the 27 Italian cities monitored by the Ministry of Health, twenty are reported on Tuesday with a red dot due to heat waves, another six with an orange dot and only Genoa with a yellow dot. On Wednesday the red dots will rise to 23, two in orange, in yellow the Ligurian capital will be joined by Bolzano. In the Po Valley it could reach 38-39 degrees, the freezing point in the Alps is positioned above 5,000 metres, i.e. above the height of the Mont Blanc summit. There will be tropical nights with lows that won’t drop below 20 degrees and the heat to disturb rest.
The “heat code”
With the heat, hospitalizations increase. “In the nine emergency rooms of central Tuscany ASL we are recording a 10% increase in visits due to the heat wave, including many foreign tourists,” announced Gianfranco Giannasi, director of emergency services. A specific “heat code” arrives in the emergency rooms, as indicated in the circular issued on Monday by the Ministry of Health to the Regions to prevent the effects of heat waves. “They are one of the biggest threats posed by climate change,” said Friederike Otto, professor of climate science at the Grantham Institute. “High temperatures are responsible for thousands of deaths each year, many of which go unreported, but there is still little public awareness of the dangers extreme temperatures pose to human health.” Last week a study on nature medicine estimated 61,000 people died in Europe from last year’s heat wave, of which 18,000 in Italy alone.
Beware of thunderstorms
L’South Tyrol is also on yellow alert from the Civil Protection for thunderstorms in the mountains on Tuesday. Second iLMeteo.it in the next few days cyclonic structures could descend from the British Isles in central-southern Europe, with direct effects also on Northern Italy where they could cause insidious thunderstorms. Saturday, due to the humidity and heat present in the lower layers of the atmosphere and the strong thermal contrasts between air masses, the ideal conditions could be created for the development of massive storm cells capable of locally unleashing strong blows of wind and hail.