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Cyprus heatwave goes up another level

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Cyprus’ Department of Meteorology has issued another ‘extreme high-temperature warning’ with maximum temperatures expected to soar to a scorching 42 degrees Celsius, Friday will be even hotter at 43֯ C.

The yellow alert is 56th warning issued by the Department this year for high temperatures.

Issuing the ‘yellow warning’, it said that “high temperatures are expected. Some health risks among vulnerable people such as the elderly and very young are possible.”

People are advised to stay in the shade, avoid strenuous exercise outside, while vulnerable groups should remain indoors and keep cool.

Work at open construction sites should cease during the afternoon.

Cyprus is being affected by a warm air mass in the region, which has been heating the island up for several weeks now.

“At times, this air mass is joined by hot air masses coming from Africa, pushing temperatures even higher,” said meteorologist Savvas Michael.

Michael said Cyprus will become relatively cooler during the weekend, but the hot air mass affecting the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East is not going anywhere, which means high temperatures are to continue.

The hot air mass was one of the reasons why Cyprus endured its hottest July in 37 years, said the weather expert.

In July, Cyprus saw daily maximum temperatures reaching or even exceeding 40 degrees Celsius more times than in any other July since 1983, a total of 17 days.

The average daily maximum temperature in July was 39.7°C with the island experiencing a series of week-long heatwaves with a high of 42°C.

Due to the higher than normal temperatures the Forestry Department has issued a red alert for fire risk in the tinder-dry countryside.

Temperatures on Thursday will rise to 42°C inland, around 33 to 36° C along the coasts, and around 32°C in the mountains.

Night-time temperatures will dip to 23°C inland, 24°C in coastal areas and 22°C on higher ground.