September heatwave grips Cyprus

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An orange alert was issued Wednesday by Cyprus Meteorology Department for “extreme heat” as maximum temperatures are expected to soar to 41°C inland and 34°C in usually cooler mountain areas.

After a short respite from temperatures well over 40°C, Cyprus is once more swelting under extreme weather conditions for this time of year.

September ushered the hottest day ever recorded on the island with a scorching 46.2°C in Nicosia last Friday.

However, following Sunday’s normal temperatures of 36°C, Cyprus has returned to bake mode until Saturday.

Forecasts say that Cyprus is to cool off during the weekend with temperatures returning to the normal 35-36°C for the season.

Maximum temperatures on Wednesday will rise to around 41 degrees Celsius inland and 33-35°C on the coast while the orange alert will be in place from 12 pm until 5 pm.

So far this year there have been over 75 weather warning issued by the Department for high temperatures.

The Met Office said in its warning, “some health risks amongst vulnerable people, like the elderly and very young, is possible.”

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

Fire hazards remain high with the public urged to avoid any action or activity which may cause a fire.

The Forestry Department reminded the public that lighting a fire in the open without a permit is punishable with a fine up to €50,000 and/or imprisonment up to 10 years.

Lighting a fire for food preparation is only allowed in specified areas at picnic sites.

The public should call 1408 (Forestry Department) or 112 (Fire Department) if smoke or fire is spotted.

Cyprus is well overdue for cooler temperatures, having already witnessed its hottest July and August on record.

In July, Cyprus saw daily maximum temperatures reaching or exceeding 40 degrees Celsius more times (17) than in any other July since 1983, and the second hottest day on record at 44.6° C.

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

August had 12 days with temperatures equal or above 40°C, which is a record for the month, and the third hottest day ever with 44.5°C on 31 August.

The average daily temperatures for August reached a record 39.5°C.