Tuesday , February 20 2018
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Greece “Boils” With 43° C; Ozone Beyond Alarm Level; Acropolis Closed Earlier

Weather forecasters claim that this is the last day of the prolonged heat wave that grills residents and tourists visiting the country. However this last day of the heat wave is the most painful one. In Athens and in Sparta, Peloponnese, the mercury reached 43 degrees Celsius in the shadow.

At 4:28 pm the thermometer at my balcony shows 40° C in the shadow. The sea in the south horizon has melted together with the sky into a very pale blue. Towards the west of Athens the view of Tourkovoinia mountain is prohibeded by  a cloud of air pollution.

Combination of heat, humidity and absense of winds has brought the deadly cocktail of air poluttion above the heads of residents and visitors of the Greek capital.

High Ozone Levels & Air Pollution

     Athens By Smog

The high concentration of ozone values prompted the Greek Health Ministry to issue again a warning – for fourth consequent day – to the public urging the people to remain indoors during the hottest hours of Monday at noon and early afternoon. Especially people with health problems, children and elderly.

High ozone levels can cause respiratory problems, coughing, wheezing and stinging of the eyes or throat.

According to Greek Ministry for Environment, Energy & Climate Change, ozone levels were measured to be between  227 μg/m³ and 235 μg/m³ in some Athens areas at 3 p.m.. However ozone levels exceeded the alarm level of 240μg/m³: with 271 μg/m³ in Lykovrisi and 343 μg/m³ in Thrakomacedones area.

The acceptable ozone level for people’s health is 120-180 μg/m³.

 Traffic Restrictions Ban Lifted

Traffic restrictions regulating the number of cars entering downtown Athens have been suspended today until the end of August. The restrictions allow cars to enter downtown Athens depending on the registration numbers (single or even) on every second day. The measure applies only from September to middle July, as authorities assume many residents of the city are away for vacations.

As the economic crisis plagues the Greeks causing them to limit their summer vacations, I wonder whether the skyrocketing of today’s ozone values have to do with the lifting of the traffic restrictions.

Acropolis Shut Down Earlier

 The grilling temperatures and the air pollution prompted the Ministry of Culture to close the Acropolis and the Ancient Theater of Dionysos earlier than usual.

“The Greek capital’s most famous archaeological monument, the Acropolis, will be closed from 2 p.m. on Monday due to high temperatures, the Culture Ministry confirmed following an appeal by the association of workers at archaeological sites.

Forecasts by the Hellenic National Meteorological Service said that temperatures in Athens are expected to reach 42 Celsius (107.6F) by midday Monday, prompting authorities to close the Acropolis, as well as Ancient Theater of Dionysus at its foot, in order to protect the public and staff from the heat.” (ekathimerini)

And when we survive this Monday, we will be able to enjoy the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday when temperatures are expected to fall by 6-10 degrees.

I can’t tell you for sure, but usually fresh heat waves hit Greece end of July/beginning of August.

PS Odd enough, I didn’t feel the effects (coughing) of high ozone levels this morning, which normally set at 11 a.m. – or maybe I got used to the constant air pollution…  






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  1. This is the one time I am glad to be away at the moment. I see that in my village it is 42C. I have to think hard to remember it so hot there. And especcially at night. Temperatures above 28!!! Wow.
    Take good care of yourself today, KTG and the readers in Greece! Stay healthy.

  2. keeptalkinggreece

    I thought of you too these xero-hot days, Antonis! Last night in athens temper was at 37C at 11 pm!

  3. Your word endings are dropping off with the heat!

  4. It still seems to be 29C at midnight… I hope the natural airco from the mountains is at least still working on our side of the church… At least the coming days will be a bit more normal.
    And now I am reading on Deltio Kairou that it will be 38 again on Saturday! This is madness.

    But I am glad to see you are still functioning in this weather. Bravo!

    This was the worst day here too. But then the opposite. It rained all day cats and dogs. Been soaked 3 times by now. At least, with all this moist around the temperature of 16C didn’t feel so cold. And tomorrow we’ll be getting an almost summery 19C! That’s madness too. But at least we did not have to gasp for air like you.

  5. keeptalkinggreece

    16C, 19C, rain? I remember such ‘summers in Germany as well. No real summer this year?
    I am able to function because I gave up my environmental worries last Friday and bought an a/c. Now I’m thinking to buy a second one 🙂

  6. So, on average, the weather in Europe is great, a comfortable 28.5° C with only a bit of rain every now and then! Sadly, this statistic doesn’t really help us, since in reality, this divides into one or the other extreme. Damn global warming.

  7. Btw, I’m quite certain that the compressor of the fridge has no chance to keep the temperature down when that very hot blonde is inside!

  8. keeptalkinggreece


  9. Europe? Average? What the ^&* are you talking about?

    You must be one of these people who talks about the average food consumption in the world, or the average world income per person. These statistics are just vapid and nobody in his right mind would use them.

  10. Thx for confirming my suspicion that you ain’t got any sense of humor, Xenos.

  11. Oh, that was German humour was it? Yes, we Brits make things like Monty Python and whatever, so humour with statistics doesn’t even get considered. Especially considering all the fraud that politicians make with them. More like torture than humour.

  12. LOL!!!!

  13. The LOL is for Gray. Xenos reply is so true to form. 😆

  14. Thx. One thing’s for certain: Xenos ain’t one of the Monty Pythons!