Sweltering heat to sweep over Italy

Beaches, bikinis in the cards, forecasters say

Sweltering heat to sweep over Italy

Rome, June 12 - Beaches, bikinis and bronzing lotions are back on the menu for many Italians as the long-awaited summer heat wave seems to finally be rolling down the peninsula. Temperatures that were unusually low with heavy rains that caused flooding in parts of Italy are now being replaced by more normal sunny, hot days, meteorologists said Wednesday. Highs in Rome are trending towards an average of 32 degrees Celsius for the rest of this week, with temperatures a bit cooler in the north. "Today is the first day with overtones that are almost summer," Antonio Sano, director of the weather website, said Wednesday. Weather will remain "good and gentle with sunny days" over the coming weekend - but then, look out, he warned. The anticyclone dubbed Hades will be bringing heat through Italy, possibly setting records and stirring up serious storms. Italians became very familiar last summer with the anticyclone phenomena after several such systems, usually named for mythical figures, raised temperatures to record highs. "The summer will literally go turbo, hot air will be pumped in from Africa through the anticyclone Hades," said Sano. He warned that each day next week will progressively be a little hotter and peak around 35 degrees C in Bologna, Florence, Rome and the south, and a bit cooler along the coasts. The Italian health ministry is prepared, announcing Wednesday that it will now report daily temperatures and related health bulletins and warnings looking ahead by 72 hours on its website.

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