Italian temperatures 'exceptional' but not at 2003 levels

Earlier-year highs 'much more persistent'

Italian temperatures 'exceptional' but not at 2003 levels

(ANSA) - Rome, August 20 - Whilst exceptional, the temperatures Italy has experienced in the past few months do not match those suffered by the nation in 2003, when they reached the highest levels in two centuries. "That year, between the months of May and August, we experienced the highest temperatures since 1800," said Michele Brunetti, of the Institute of Atmospheric Science and Climate. "The high temperatures in 2003 were much more persistent: the result was an exceptional situation that dragged on for months." The Institute of Atmospheric Science and Climate is a unit of Italy's public-funded Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Cnr) thinktank. The comparable data could be revised in early September, when a complete set of August temperature data will be available. "This year, we have suffered from two and a half months of penetrating heat as a result of travelling anticyclones arriving in Italy from Africa," Brunetti added. "Today's situation is very different from that of 2003, when the heat waves rose up from the Mediterranean into Northern Europe."

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