Scientists and environmental groups have expressed concerns about the possibility of Italy facing another drought due to weeks of dry winter weather following last summer’s emergency.
The Alps have received less than half of their average snowfall, according to scientists. This concerning situation arises when Venice struggles with extremely low tides, which prevent gondolas, water taxis, and ambulances from navigating some of the city’s iconic canals. Shortage of rain, a high-pressure systems, a full moon, and sea currents are all elements adding to the problems in Venice.
Moreover, the Legambiente environmental group has reported that Italian rivers and lakes severely lack water, with particular attention focused on the country’s northern region. The Po, Italy’s longest river that flows from the Alps in the northwest to the Adriatic, is currently suffering a 61 percent fall in water levels compared to normal levels at this year’s season.
In July 2022, Italy declared a state of emergency in areas surrounding the Po, which contributes roughly one-third of the country’s agricultural production, as it faced its worst drought in 70 years.
Massimiliano Pasqui of the Italian scientific research agency CNR, a climate expert, has issued a warning “We have a water deficit that has been growing since the winter of 2020-2021. We need 500mm of rain in the northwestern regions, which will take 50 days.”
As a result of the drought, Lake Garda in northern Italy has reached record low water levels, making it possible to get the small island of San Biagio on the lake via an exposed pathway.
For the past 15 days, a prolonged anticyclone has dominated the weather in Western Europe, resulting in moderate temperatures more typical of late spring.
However, according to the most recent meteorological projections, there is some good news on the horizon in the form of much-needed precipitation and snow in the Alps in the coming days.