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Hot nights, sizzling days

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Cyprus’ Met Office issued an orange warning for extreme temperatures on Thursday evening and Friday as the island braces itself for the hottest night and day of the year.

The heat warning comes into effect from 9 pm with nighttime temperatures not expected to drop below 25 degrees Celsius, while maximum temperatures on Friday will soar to 43°C.

On Thursday, the official thermometer in Nicosia peaked at 41.4C at 3.41 pm at the Athalassa weather station.

The mountains offered little respite from the heat, as maximum temperatures on Friday and Saturday will touch 36°C. Nighttime temperatures will not fall below 23°C.

Cyprus is entering its first prolonged summer heatwave as Cleon’s high-pressure weather system has moved in from Greece.

Cleon falls under Dangerous Weather Phenomena, with temperatures in southern Greece on Friday hitting  44°C.

“Friday and Saturday will be the hottest days with temperatures reaching 43°C,” said the Met Office head Kleanthis Nicolaides.

Nicolaides said Cleon is expected to affect Greece until July 15 but was hesitant to predict how long it will prevail in Cyprus.

“The heatwave will be accompanied by high humidity levels and a high UV index, making the atmosphere stifling.

“Vulnerable groups of the population are urged to be especially cautious,” said Nicolaides.

He said that heatwaves of this calibre are not unusual for Cyprus in July.

It arrives in Cyprus amid record-breaking temperatures globally.

July 4 was the hottest day ever recorded globally, while June was the hottest June across the globe since records began.

A heatwave is sweeping across parts of southern Europe and north-west Africa, with potentially record-breaking temperatures in the coming days.

Temperatures are expected to surpass 40C in parts of Spain, France, Croatia and Turkey.

In Italy, temperatures could reach as high as 48.8C.

A red alert warning has been issued for 10 cities, including Rome, Bologna and Florence.

On Tuesday, a man in his forties died after collapsing in northern Italy.