Sicily heat wave: Italy may have hit Europe’s hottest day on record

The metropolis of Siracusa hit the blistering record on Wednesday afternoon, as an anticyclone — which Italian media experiences are referring to as “Lucifer” — swept in and continues to strikes north up the nation. A persistent heat wave across the Mediterranean in Europe and North Africa has contributed to a number of the worst fires seen there in years.

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe was 48.0°C (118°F) in Athens, Greece in 1977, in keeping with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The record in Italy was confirmed by Sicilian authorities, however must be formally verified by the WMO.

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“At the moment there are no reasons to invalidate it, but if possible we will make an ex-post evaluation on the accuracy of the measure” mentioned the Sicilian Agrometeorological Information Service, Sicily’s official climate station operator.

An anticyclone is a high-pressure system, the place atmospheric strain is comparatively greater than the air surrounding it.

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A man finds some reprieve form the heat in Messina on the Italian island of Sicily on Wednesday.

In the Northern Hemisphere, they flip clockwise, whereas they flip the opposite path within the southern hemisphere.

Some of the fires have been began by arsonists, however scientists say it is the local weather disaster that’s making heat waves and fires extra frequent and intense, and subsequently extra damaging.

An authoritative report by the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change revealed Monday mentioned that 38 climate situations that promote wildfires have develop into extra possible in southern Europe over the past century. Globally, the heat waves and droughts worsening fires have elevated too.
People cool down in the sea in Sicily's Palermo on Wednesday.

Sicily is the the biggest island within the Mediterranean and sits off what is usually known as the “toe” of Italy, a rustic that’s formed like a boot.

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‘Meteotsunami’ hits Spanish resort

Temperatures across the Mediterranean have been 5 to 10 levels C greater than common this week, and dozens of individuals have died in wildfires tearing throughout southern Europe and North Africa, most of them in Algeria, the place a minimum of 69 individuals have been killed. Deaths have been record in Turkey as effectively, which is now additionally experiencing flooding on the Black Sea coast, leaving a minimum of 9 individuals useless. Parts of Italy and Greece have additionally been badly hit by fires, the place some villages have been largely destroyed.

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A drone photo shows rescue operations at a collapsed building after floods in Bozkurt district in Kastamonu, Turkey on Thursday.

And Santa Pola, a resort within the Spanish metropolis of Alicante, has been hit with a “meteotsunami.” Images shared by police on Facebook Wednesday evening confirmed low-level flooding on the streets.

Meteotsunamis are massive waves “driven by air-pressure disturbances often associated with fast-moving weather events,” in keeping with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the US.

“The storm generates a wave that moves towards the shore, and is amplified by a shallow continental shelf and inlet, bay, or other coastal feature,” it mentioned, including that scientists are simply starting to grasp the phenomenon higher.

Alicante was hit with low-level flooding.

Santa Pola police mentioned that water had overrun the coastal paths and brought on harm alongside them. The wave additionally impacted fishing boats.

“An unexpected meteorological phenomenon surprised us tonight, with a sudden ‘tidal rise’ that caused a lot of problems to moored fishing boats and sent several boats adrift,” it mentioned in its assertion in a single day.

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Alicante University’s climatology lab mentioned that meteotsunamis happen extra ceaselessly within the Balearic Islands — which embody Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca — however that “from time to time they occur in our area, although this has been somewhat more intense than usual.”

CNN’s Vasco Cotovio contributed to this report.

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