Sicily has reported the highest temperature ever recorded in Europe.
Syracuse, a city on the southeast coast of the Italian island, saw temperatures of 48.8C (119.8F) on Wednesday, according to the Sicily region’s agriculture-meteorological information service (SIAS).
The highest temperature ever recorded on the European continent is 48C (118.4F), recorded in Athens in 1977.
The temperature in Sicily is yet to be independently confirmed.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said it would investigate the reading.
Randy Cerveny, the agency’s representative for weather records, said it was “suspicious, so we’re not going to make any immediate determination”.
“It doesn’t sound terribly plausible,” Mr Cerveny added. “But we’re not going to dismiss it.”
WMO spokesperson Sylvie Castonguay also urged caution: “Extreme weather and climate events are often sensationalised and mischaracterised as ‘records’ before they have been thoroughly investigated and properly validated.”
On its Facebook page, the SIAS said it was the highest temperature registered in the entire network since it was installed in 2002.
A heatwave driven by hot air from North Africa has spread across large parts of the Mediterranean in the last few days.