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Giant hail hits Italy as baking Spain tops 41c

Extreme: Huge hailstones broke windows in Italy PICTURE: ANSA

HAIL the size of oranges injured 18 people in Italy yesterday after a burst of extreme weather in Europe.

Hospital staff in Adriatic city Pescara said the hail caused cuts and bruises. The storm broke windows and windscreens in Venafro, Isernia.

It came after temperatures soared to record levels in a Spanish holiday area popular with British tourists when it was hit by a 30-minute ‘heat burst’ — caused by jets of air inside a storm cloud plunging towards Earth.

Costacabana, on the Costa de Almeria in south-east Spain, saw the mercury leap from 28C to 41.6C just after 5pm on Saturday — then fall again.

A spokeswoman for state meteorology agency AEMET, Delia Gutierrez, said: ‘It must have been like opening the door of an oven.’

Meanwhile, a report predicted London’s climate will be more like Barcelona’s by 2050 due to global warming, risking the same extreme drought conditions the Spanish city saw in 2008.

Edinburgh will more resemble Paris, say Crowther Lab scientists in Zurich.