Italy, Mediterranean Europe brace for record heat reaching 120 degrees

July 15 (UPI) — Italy and other areas of Mediterranean Europe braced Saturday for record temperatures as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit as a punishing “Cerberus” heat wave gathered strength.

Record high temperatures were expected to continue to scorch southern Europe as the heat wave, which began earlier in the week, was forecast to become more intense starting on Sunday.

More than a dozen cities in Italy are currently under red alert heat warnings, with the meteorologists warning of the possibility of temperatures on Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Sardinia reaching 120 degrees.

That would mark the hottest temperature ever recorded in those regions.

Officials in Rome, Florence and Bologna are also warning people to avoid direct sunlight between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. because of the heat. Those warnings extend to everyone, not just children and elderly or sick people.

Temperatures are expected to start climbing Sunday and hit their peak Tuesday.

The heat wave is known as Cerberus to forecasters, named after the three-headed dog in Greek mythology.

The high-pressure system has crossed over the Mediterranean Sea from north Africa, also blanketing parts of Greece, Spain, France, Poland and Germany. The European Space Agency warned the weather front could reach as far as Northern Europe.

In addition to Italy, temperatures in parts of Greece and Spain have been above 100 degrees over the last several days.

The mercury this week eclipsed historical averages in Madrid, Milan, Rome and Athens. Athens’ famous Acropolis was closed to visitors because of the heat on Friday and was expected to remain shut through the weekend.

A recent study published in the journal Nature Medicine found more than 18,000 people died in Italy last summer as a result of the extreme heat.

In all, there were more than 61,000 heat-related deaths across Europe last year between early May and early September.

Authored by Upi via Breitbart July 15th 2023