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Greece in the claws of heat wave with temperatures up to 44° C in the shadow

A weekend in hell. Heat wave across the country with temperature s up to 44-45 degrees Celsius in the shadow. The heat is expected to be felt as a couple of degrees higher due to the increased humidity. Sahara dust on Friday. High ozone levels in certain parts of the Greek capital. Health warnings and precaution measures warnings.

Municipalities offer air-conditioned spaces free of charge. Targeted are mostly people over 65 and families with children who cannot afford to turn on the A/C or the fan in times of economic crisis.

Warning for Extreme weather phenomena issued by the National Observatory in Athens: forecast for Friday, June 30 2018, at 3 pm

Red: Temperature over 40C, Yellow: Temperature 37-40C

Areas most affected by the heat wave are: central Macedonia, Sterea and Attica, Euboea, East and Central Peloponnese, West Crete and the islands of the South Dodecanese.

The heat wave comes from Tunesia and Algeria. The hot aerial masses are expected to reach central and eastern Mediterranean Sea, south-east Europe, parts of the Middle East and even parts of the Ukraine.

According to meteorologist Giannis Kallianos, in some ‘heat sensitive’ regions of Greece like the plains of Central Macedonia, Thessaly, Argos, Kopaida plain in Viotia and Messaras on Crete, temperature will reach more than 44 degrees Celsius.”

The highest temperature recorded on Thursday, June 29th, was in Larissa, Central Greece: 42.8° C

Forecast Friday 3 pm

Greece’s Public Power Company braces for rise in power demand during the heat wave as air-conditions and fan work non-stop.

Temperatures recorded at 11 am Friday:

  • Moires, Herakleio, Crete: 39.5 C
  • Lindos, Rhodes 39.3 C
  • Sparta, Central Peloponnese: 39 C
  • Kranidi, est Peloponnese 38.8 C
  • Psychiko, north Athens: 38.6C

Beginning of the week, Greece’s National Meteorology Service EMY issued an Orange Alert on Extreme Weather Phenomena, warning of rising temperatures that can locally reach extreme levels.

EMY Temperatures Forecast June 28-July 2 2017

Continental Mainland

Wednesday, June 28:  temperature 39° Celsius

Thursday, June 29:  40°-41° C

Friday and Saturday, June 30 – July 1: 42° possibly 43° C

Sunday, July 2: 37°-39° C in Western Greece, 40°-42° C in the rest of mainland

Islands and coastal Greece

Wed-Thu, June 28-29:  35° C

Friday and Saturday, June 30 – July 1: 36° – 38° C

Sunday, July 2: 33°-35° C in Western Greece, 37°-39° C in the rest regions.

It runs out, temperatures are slightly higher than forecast last Wednesday.

Athens

At 10 o’ clock in the morning the thermometer at my balcony showed 34.5° C in the shadow. I had to wonder what it would show at the peak of the heat at between 3 and 4 o’ clock in the afternoon. I have the feeling, temperature rises by half degree Celsius per hour. At 12 noon, thermometer shows 35.5 C in the shadow. I suppose, it is 1-2 degrees higher in the sun.

I was shocked yesterday, to see one of the meteorological websites forecast 45°C at 3 pm in downtown Athens. today, it was revised to 44°C.

The more you move away from the downtown of  boiling asphalt and , the better the temperature gets. Forecast for the south suburbs is at 43°C.  Much better are the north suburbs with 40°C.

Generally, temperature is 2-3 degrees lower at the sea cost due to the sea breeze. Sea breeze? What sea breeze? I wouldn’t call sea breeze winds of 1 or 2 Beaufort blowing from the South .

Athens Municipality has put into operation an emergency plan for extreme situations:

  • 9 A/C halls in operation 8 am- 8 pm on Friday and 10 am – 8 pm Saturday and Sunday.
  • A vehicle of municipality police can transfer people in need from their homes to the A/C spaces.
  • 24-hour monitoring of the hills and big parks in the city due to high risk for wild fires.
  • Appeal to residents and tourists to keep the water troughs for strays filled up with clean and fresh water (more details here)

For the case one want to leave the A/C protection and jump into the sea, here is the list of Clean and not Clean Beaches in the Attica region and broader area. The Report 2017 has been issued a couple of days ago and is based on water measurements conducted in May.

Health Ministry Warning

The Health Ministry issued a warning urging vulnerable groups of the society, people above 65 and those suffering from chronic diseases or on prescription medication to not be exposed to the heat, conduct their physicians about the regulation of medication.

The ministry urge the population to avoid direct sunlight exposure with sun-umbrellas and hats, and avoid heavy physical work and exercise outdoors especially in area with high temperature and high humidity.

The Ministry advises the citizens to drink plenty of water and fruit juices, to avoid intake of alcohol and fat, keep a low-calories diet with plenty of vegetables and low fat.

Special precaution is needed  for babies and young children.

KTG advise: Never leave a baby, a young child or a pet in a parked car even for the famous “one minute”!

The Good News

Sharp temperature drop of 10 degrees Celsius across the country as of Monday, June 3 2017.

Temperature drop of up to 6 degrees is expected as of Sunday afternoon in Epirus and the north Ionian islands, later across the west and north-west and by Monday cross the whole country.

Forecast for Athens

Heat wave with such extreme temperatures is not common in June. The heatwave is considered the biggest in the last decade.

PS Let’s see what July will bring.

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