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Extreme weather warnings issued across Europe

Extreme weather warnings issued across Europe

by host

Large parts of Europe were covered by extreme weather warnings on Saturday.

A heat wave continued to grip southern countries, with temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius in parts of Spain, Italy and Greece. In parts of other countries, like France and the U.K., warnings were issued for heavy wind and rain, and thunderstorms.

The planet already saw its hottest week in recorded history at the beginning of July, a combination of man-made global warming exacerbated by El Niño, a naturally occurring weather phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean.

European governments and meteorological services warned their citizens about the impact of extreme weather.

In Italy, 15 cities, among them tourist destinations like Rome and Florence, were covered by a “red alert” from the country’s Health Ministry on Saturday, with the advice to avoid exposure to the sun and heat between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The health impact is “possible” not only for risk groups but also for healthy and active people, the ministry said.

In Greece, the Acropolis site was closed for a second day in a row, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, according to public broadcaster ERT, as well as parks in the Athens region to reduce the risk of wildfires. From Sunday onwards, temperatures are expected to drop slightly, the country’s meteorological services said.

In Spain, the meteorological service said on Saturday that there was an “important risk” for the Balearic Islands, with temperatures close to 40 degrees. In updated advice, it added that a new period of high temperatures — a “brief episode but intense” — could follow between Monday and Wednesday. “It will be possible to exceed 42 degrees,” the service said.

In both France and the U.K., there were warnings on Saturday for thunderstorms and heavy rain. The U.K.’s Met Office said it expected an “unseasonably windy day,” while Méteo France issued warnings for thunderstorms, heavy rain, and even floods for 10 departments in the Massif Central and the northeast of the country.

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