Rain has fallen over wide areas of northern Italy, breaking a nearly three-month dry spell that has hurt agriculture and tourism.

The weather bureau said rainfall was recorded Wednesday from Liguria in the west to the Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige in the east. Only light rain was reported, but heavy showers are expected by the weekend.In some parts of Italy no rain has fallen for 80 days. Water rationing is in effect in some areas and agricultural losses are estimated at $1.5 billion.

Italy's Alpine ski areas have been hit hard by lack of snow and were not helped by Wednesday's rain. Rains in some areas washed away artificial snow the resorts have been producing to salvage the skiing season.