Italy sets new European heat record: +48.8 °C

Extreme heat defies temperature records this week. Just one day after a national record was set in Italy, the same weather station in the city of Siracusa in Sicily may break the European record for the highest temperature! On the afternoon of Wednesday, August 11, Syracuse reported an amazing peak temperature of +48.8 °C.

The heat wave has now moved to Spain and Portugal!

Data from the weather station is still being evaluated, official confirmation will follow later. The extreme heat that continues in the Mediterranean region this week has caused the temperature at the same weather station to reach 47.0 °C just yesterday.

Nevertheless, temperatures in much of the Mediterranean and northern Africa are very high. In Tunisia, for example, a new temperature record for August was set yesterday, with +49.0 °C recorded in the city of Jendouba. In the capital of Tunisia, the maximum temperature reached 48.9 ° C, setting a record of all stations.


The kind of intense heat waves we are now seeing in the south are not uncommon in Europe, but in recent years they have become more frequent and even more extreme. One example is the historic heat wave that gripped Western Europe in the summer of 2019.

Not to mention the prolonged heat wave in the southern Balkan Peninsula, especially in Greece, in early August. It caused deadly fires and destruction in many areas of the peninsula, including Turkey.

The highest temperature ever officially observed in Europe was +48.0 °C (118.4 °F), recorded in two cities, Athens and Elefsina, Greece, on July 10, 1977. While Greece was the record holder for the highest recorded temperature in Europe, today Italy can take that unpopular title away from it.

More recently, Greece experienced its worst heat wave in years. The highest temperature was recorded in the city of Langadas in northern Greece, reaching +47.1 °C (116.8 °F).

However, the national heat record in Italy is +47.0 °C, recorded on July 25, 2007 in the city of Foggia, Puglia region in the south of the country.

The intense heat wave is not over yet. While Italy will finally be free of those brutally high temperatures, the most extreme temperatures are now expected over Spain and Portugal. From Friday through Sunday, temperatures in Spain are likely to easily exceed the 45°C mark.

The existing Spanish official record is +47.3 °C (117.1 °F) from July 13, 2017, recorded in the city of Montoro, Cordoba. While the highest temperature record in Portugal is +47.4 °C (117.3 °F), recorded on August 1, 2003 in Amareleja, Beja.

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