Italy logged a temperature of 119.8 degrees Fahrenheit in what could be Europe’s hottest day ever

A man refreshes himself in a fountain during a hot summer day in Messina, Sicily, on August 11, 2021
A man cools down in Messina, Sicily, on August 11, 2021. GIOVANNI ISOLINO/AFP via Getty Images
  • Italy recorded a temperature of 48.8 degrees Celsius (119.8 Fahrenheit) on Sicily Wednesday.
  • If verified by the United Nations, it will be Europe’s highest-ever temperature.
  • Italy is battling a heatwave and wildfires.
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The Italian island of Sicily recorded a temperature 48.8 degrees Celsius (119.8 Fahrenheit), in what could be Europe’s hottest-ever temperature.

Sicily’s agriculture-meteorological information service recorded the temperature on Wednesday. The record still needs to be verified by the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization to be confirmed as the continent’s hottest-ever temperature.

The current official record in Europe is 48 Celsius (118.4 Fahrenheit), according to the WHO. It was registered in Athens, Greece, in 1977.

Italy is currently battling a heatwave caused by an anticyclone, which is a dense high pressure system, the BBC reported.

Parts of the country, including Sicily, are facing raging wildfires, as are nearby Greece and Turkey.

Firemen said they carried out more than 500 operations in Sicily and Calabria in just 12 hours, Reuters reported.