Cyprus experienced the hottest May on record as an extreme week-long heatwave gripped the island pushing temperatures to peak at 44.4° Celsius, the meteorology office data shows.
As Cyprus prepared to exit lockdown in May, unprecedented hot weather smashed every climate record in the book, from the hottest day for the month to the longest heatwave.
In some cases, temperatures rose 6 degrees above the maximum recorded temperature.
The data showed that Paphos airport witnessed the sharpest increase based on daily temperatures.
On 17 May, the meteorology station at the airport recorded a chart-topping temperature of 42 ̊C, 6.2 degrees higher than the previous record of 36.3°C set in 1988.
Polis logged a new record of 41.7 ̊ C in May 2020, some 5.1 degrees above the previous maximum of 36.6 ̊C in 2019.
In Limassol, the Cyprus University of Technology recorded a new high of 42.9 ̊C, a difference of 4.3 degrees compared to the 38.6 ̊ C in 1995.
The highest temperature was 44.4 ° C recorded in Astromeritis on 19 May.
This was the highest temperature ever recorded in Cyprus for the month of May.
May also witnessed the highest minimum temperature ever recorded for the month.
The highest minimum temperature was recorded at Larnaca airport when temperatures dropped to just 29.5°C, 3.6 degrees higher than 1999’s 25.9 ̊ C.
Nicosia and Limassol also saw the highest minimum temperatures ever recorded in May at 27.5 ̊C.
In earlier comments to the Financial Mirror, head of the Meteorology Department, Kleanthis Nicolaides, said that temperatures recorded in Cyprus the week 14-21 were the highest on record for May.
Cyprus was affected by a high-pressure system stretching from the Atlantic, passing over North Africa and reaching the Eastern Mediterranean.
He said the heatwave recorded in the week leading up to 21 May was the longest heatwave for the month of May as the temperature remained above 40 for almost the entire week.
He had noted that during that week temperatures would rise to their maximum before noon, which is a first for May.
The head of the Met Department also said that this May was also the driest ever with humidity levels not surpassing 13%.
The maximum temperature ever recorded in Cyprus was 46.6°C in August 2010.
Meanwhile, the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) had reported last month that May this year broke the record for energy consumption.
According to the authority, average energy consumption for May is usually around 600MW, while the maximum output on Tuesday 19 May reached 910MW.