Hannibal: Italy set for record May heatwave this weekend

May temperatures soar above monthly average in Italy.

Italy is braced for what could be the hottest temperatures ever recorded in May this weekend as the 'Hannibal' heatwave is set to reach peaks of 35-36 degrees.

The anticyclone, which has seen hot air currents sweep in from north Africa in recent days, has already set several new records in northern Italy, including the hottest May night in Bolzano since 1956.

According to weather forecast website IlMeteo.it this weekend may break records set in May 2003 - Italy's hottest May on record - particularly in areas of the northwest and in Sardinia.

The unusually early heatwave, which comes one month before the summer solstice, will be compounded by the oppressively humid heat known as 'afa'.

Forecasters say that Italy is set to experience Hannibal's heat until Monday before thunderstorms lower the temperatures on Tuesday.