Geneva, Aug 13 (EFE).- The World Meteorological Organization said Friday it was seeking to verify the reported temperature of 48.8 degrees Celsius (119.8°F) registered on the Italian island of Sicily on August 11 to establish whether it was a new record for continental Europe.
The observation was made by a regional weather station rather than Italy’s national meteorological service, according to the WMO.
“WMO is actively looking into this observation but at this time we cannot yet confirm or deny its validity,” WMO Weather and Climate Extremes rapporteur Prof. Randall Cerveny said in a statement.
Experts have warned temperatures in the region could reach up to 50C, levels that were initially forecasted for 20 to 30 years from now.
According to official data from the WMO and Climate Extremes Archive, the current record temperature in continental Europe was reported in Athens in 1977, when temperatures rose to 48.0C.
“August is typically hot and dry in the Mediterranean region. However, the temperatures witnessed this summer are extreme and are typical of what we expect from climate change,” the WMO said.
In July this year, the WMO established the temperature recorded on February 5, 2020 at Argentina’s Esperanza station of 18.3C was the highest ever reported in Antarctica.EFE