ROME, June 27 (Xinhua) — A total of 17 Italian cities will receive heat warnings this weekend, the country’s Ministry of Health said Thursday, suggesting another unusually hot summer could be in the works.

The ministry said that 17 of Italy’s 27 cities it monitors will be under Level 2 heat alerts starting Saturday, including the Tuscan capital of Florence, the Sicilian capital of Palermo and Italy’s capital city of Rome.

Most of the northern part of the country is expected to avoid the worst temperature rises. However, in the northeastern corner, the cities of Trieste and Verona are likely to be hit hard by the heat. The ministry announced that the heat alerts will remain in effect until at least Monday.

A Level 2 heat alert indicates that the weather poses a health risk, particularly for children, the elderly, and those with serious medical conditions. The ministry recommends that people in cities hit the hardest by the heat stay indoors between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time and take other precautions to avoid heat-related illness.

According to the Italian weather monitoring site Il Meteo, temperatures in nearly a dozen cities are expected to top 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) by Saturday, due to warm weather currents traveling north from Africa.

Italy has suffered from unusually hot and dry summers in the last two years. Average temperatures in Italy have increase by 1.1 degrees in the last 30 years.