Orange weather warnings in nine cities because of soaring heat

The beach at Ostia during the heat

 ROME - - The hot weather is expected to hit peaks of forty degrees with weather warnings in nine cities.

 A new heat wave is hitting Italy, with temperatures gradually rising throughout the country and nine cities on an orange alert list as of 9 July. The health risk alert for the most vulnerable population groups has been issued in Bolzano, Florence, Frosinone, Palermo, Perugia, Rieti, Rome, Turin and Viterbo. 

 All other urban areas monitored in the Ministry of Health bulletin have been given a yellow dot, and are therefore pre-alert, with the exception of Bari, the only one of the 27 cities with a green dot (no risk). 

 Heat waves occur when very high temperatures are recorded for several consecutive days, and are often associated with high humidity, strong sunlight and lack of wind, which can pose a serious risk to public health.

 But that's not all: peaks of over 40 degrees are expected in Sicily and Sardinia from 10 July. The director of the LaMMA-CNR Consortium (the Italian Environmental Meteorology Modelling Laboratory), Bernardo Gozzini, explains this, specifying that "the mass of warm air of subtropical origin arriving over Italy as early as Sunday is causing the heat to increase, but the highest temperatures are set to be recorded between Monday and Wednesday". 

 Although it looks as though the major islands will suffer the most, the Po Valley and other large cities such as Rome and Florence, where maximum temperatures will reach 37-38 degrees, will not fare any better. These values, emphasises the climatologist, “are 6-7 degrees higher than the average maximum temperatures in July.”

 According to Gozzini, in the Centre-South the temperatures could continue to be scorching even after 13 July, at least until 15 July, while in the Centre-North the situation could improve thanks to thunderstorms in the Alps and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. We must remember, however, underlines the expert, that from 13 July onwards they are indicative forecasts, which are expected to be confirmed in the coming days.

 "Excessive heat leads to health problems as it can alter the body's temperature regulation system," warns Sima (Italian Society of Environmental Medicine) president Alessandro Miani. "The human body cools itself through sweating, but excessive humidity prevents sweat from evaporating, with body heat rising rapidly and can even damage vital organs and the brain.”

 However, it is the elderly who face the greatest risks with the arrival of the extra hot weather. "The elderly are very frail patients," Francesco Dentali, president of Fadoi (Federation of Associations of Hospital Internist Managers), tells Adnkronos Health. 'If they become dehydrated they run more dangers. Their blood pressure can drop too low and there is a risk of cardiovascular problems and hospitalisation. After Covid we are seeing increasingly frail elderly patients and so it only takes small changes to put them in danger. That is why we expect a wave of admissions to the emergency room in the next few days and, but we hope not, of admissions with this very identity.”


Cooling down in Rome