Cyprus issues first red alert for hottest day of the year

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Cyprus issued its first-ever red warning during a sweltering heatwave as maximum temperatures are expected to soar to a scorching 44 degrees Celsius, making it the hottest day of 2020.

If Monday hits 44֯ C, as the Met Office expects then it will also be the hottest day of the year, as the previous one was recorded in May when temperatures reached 43.9֯ C.

Cyprus Met Office issued its first red warning while the Health Ministry has issued advice for the public to take precautions staying in cool areas, drinking plenty of fluids and avoid strenuous exercise.

People are also advised to wear light clothing while vulnerable groups should remain indoors and keep cool.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, meteorologist Philippos Tymvios said according to data this August could also be the hottest on record.

“If today’s temperatures match our predictions, then we will probably be announcing that this year’s August has smashed the record.”

Cyprus witnessed its hottest July in the past 37 years.

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

While officials say a slight drop in temperatures will take place gradually from Tuesday through Thursday, however, it is expected to remain above normal averages throughout the week and could climb back up above 40°C again from Friday.

Hotter than usual weather is predicted for next week as well when temperatures will soar to around 40°C.

“An unusually hot air mass is affecting the region from the east, keeping temperatures above the seasonal average.

What is unusual about this air mass is that it seems to be staying longer than what hot air masses coming from the east usually do,” said Tymvios.

The Met Office has issued 68 warnings for extreme weather conditions this year.

Monday’s red alert comes into effect from 1 pm until 5 pm.

Maximum temperatures on Monday will rise to 44°C inland, 34°C in coastal areas and 36°C in the mountains.

Fire hazards remain high with the forestry department also issuing a red alert for Monday due to the high risk of fire, urging the public to avoid actions and activities which may cause a fire.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Cyprus was 45.6°C in August 2010.