Rome, Dec 28 : This year will go down as the hottest in Italy since records began in 1800, according to data from the Institute for Atmospheric Science at the country's National Research Council (NRC).
"There were record highs all along the way, starting in the spring, all throughout the summer, and now in the winter," Bernardo Gozzini, director of the NRC's LaMMA meteorology consortium, told Xinhua news agency.
The new record won't be official until the end of the year, but LaMMA officials said it is statistically impossible for average temperatures to fall below those of 2018, previously the hottest year on record in Italy.
LaMMA first began reporting in July that this year was on track to be the hottest on record. In October, it said that temperatures in northern and central Italy were 3.2 degrees Celsius higher than normal.
Meanwhile, the organization reported temperatures of 5 to 7 degrees Celsius higher than average in late December across most of southern and central Europe, including Italy.
This year has been a difficult one in Italy, with a long summer drought reducing water levels by three-quarters in most of Italy's main rivers, and slashing agricultural production by a third. The scorching temperatures resulted in hundreds of deaths.
In July, a lack of rainfall combined with unseasonably high temperatures caused a glacier in northern Italy's Dolomites range to collapse.
According to the Italian Meteorological Society, or Nimbus, warm weather currents from North Africa have pushed temperatures in December to unseasonable highs. Nimbus official Daniele Cat Berro told Xinhua these high temperatures would last at least until the end of the year in central and southern Italy.
At the global level, 2016 remains the hottest year on record, followed by 2020, 2019, and 2022, according to the NRC.