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A baking Europe is set to get even hotter as Charon approaches

A baking Europe is set to get even hotter as Charon approaches
A customer stands under a cooling mist spray at a street kiosk during high temperatures in central Madrid, Spain, on Thursday, 27 April 2023.

The heatwave baking Europe and threatening to make this the hottest summer ever will be dialling up temperatures even more in coming days, thanks to another system from the Sahara.

Countries in the southern parts of the continent, already enduring forest fires and heavy thunderstorms, are expected to see their thermometers soar past 40°C. Italy’s health ministry issued emergency alerts for 16 cities — including Rome, Florence and Palermo — on Sunday, recommending that people avoid direct sunlight in the hottest hours.

Temperatures are set to rise again nationwide through Wednesday, with a potential peak of 46°C in Sardinia and a record-breaking 42°C in the capital, according to forecaster Forecasters expect the heatwave, dubbed Charon after the Greek deity that ferried souls to Hades, to relent from Thursday.

Italy was among the hardest hit by last year’s warm weather, reporting about 18,000 heat-related deaths, more than any other European nation.

Climate change is bringing extreme heat and weather across Europe, threatening the health of millions.

Spain also keeps broiling. Madrid temperatures will rise to 41°C, according to national forecasting agency Aemet. An “extreme risk” alert has been issued for the Andalusia region in the south.

On La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, a wildfire that started on Saturday abated with the help of better weather conditions, Associated Press reported, citing the authorities. The blaze forced the evacuation of more than 4,000 residents.

Israel joined Europe in suffering from scorching weather over the weekend. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was discharged from the hospital on Sunday after being treated for dehydration following a day in the sun.

Climate change is increasing the frequency of extreme weather across the Northern Hemisphere, underlining the increasing urgency to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Last month was the hottest June on record.

Europe had the warmest summer on record last year, contributing to an estimated 60,000-plus deaths across 35 countries, marine heat waves and extreme weather.

It’s a different story in northern parts of the continent, where the weather is far milder. London temperatures are forecast to peak at 23°C on Tuesday, according to the Met Office. DM


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