A HOLIDAY warning has been issued to those heading to Italy as a fierce heatwave dubbed "Cerberus" is set to send temperatures soaring to 48C.
At least three people have died so far as the blast of hot air from Africa has caused sweltering weather across Europe.
Italy's second heatwave of the summer which has sent temperatures to high 40s in multiple regions, is set to last until next week.
The extreme weather caused the death of a 44-year-old man who collapsed while painting a zebra crossing in Milan at 40C.
He was rushed to the hospital but could not be saved.
While two brothers, aged six and seven, died after they jumped into a reservoir in Manfredonia in southern Italy, reportedly to cool down.
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The country's forecaster Meteo predicts that the mercury will reach 48C in Sardinia and Sicily.
Other cities such as Rome, Florence, and Bologna are set to follow with the temperature hitting 40.
The highest recorded temperature in Italy- and Europe- was a scorching 48.8C in Sicily in August 2021.
Weather experts have declared 2023 an El Niño year – a natural phenomenon that occurs cyclically and causes fluctuations in the global climate.
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The UN’s World Meteorological Organization said it will raise temperatures around the world, and the effect is likely to continue for the rest of the year.
Health officials in Italy have issued red alert warnings for the cities of Bologna, Florence, Frosinone, Latina, Perugia, Rieta, Roma, and Viterbo.
Council staff in Rome where the temperature will reach 41C next week,have been urged to work from home if their offices are not airconditioned.
Meanwhile, the north of Italy is bracing for intense storms including hailstorms over the weekend.
Tourists heading to the Mediterranean are being urged to be cautious of the sweltering weather as the anticyclone is making its way through Europe.
The heatwave which was named after the three-headed hound of Hades in Greek mythology will send the temperatures rising to 44C in southern Spain today.
The Canary Islands are on a "red alert" heatwave as parts of the Gran Canaria will exceed 40C.
The heatwave in the area – the second one in the past two weeks – has prompted local officials to declare a state of high alert.
Greece is also expected to have sizzling temperatures of 42-43C for up to ten days in different parts of the country.
Forecasters predict the heatwave is set to start today and is expected to peak up to 45C on Friday.
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The mercury will reach 41C in Cyprus while it will reach 40C across France and 39C in Croatia.
Forecaster Météo France predicts temperatures are set to rise up to 40C across the country on Thursday with red weather alerts being in place in eastern and southern France.
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