Italy was hit by a heat wave, 44 degrees were reported in Sicily and Sardinia

Photo EPA-EFE/SARAH YENESEL

Italy has been hit by its first major heat wave this summer, which arrived with an African anticyclone, raising the temperature to 40 degrees Celsius, 10 degrees above seasonal averages.

The website viLMeteo.it predicts that a Saharan heat wave will soon sweep across Italy, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The founder of that website, meteorologist Antonio Sano, said that today and tomorrow the mercury in the thermometer will jump to 32 to 34 degrees Celsius in central and northern Italy, and it will be even hotter in Sicily and Sardinia.

"From Wednesday to Friday it will be even hotter," announced Sano.

It is expected that in Rome, Naples, Florence the temperature will reach 40 degrees, and in Sardinia and Sicily it will be between 42 and 44 degrees.

"Next weekend the African anticyclone will lose strength," Sano said, adding that very heavy rainfall expected in the north will reduce temperatures in all regions.

Over the past weekend, the beaches were crowded with Italians who sought refuge from the heat along the seashores and lakes, and the crowds are expected to be even bigger this week due to the start of the school holidays and the rising temperature.

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