Cyprus bashed by winter storms

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Cyprus was battered by strong storms on Monday with the Met Office issuing a yellow warning for extreme weather conditions of hail and thunder.

Early Monday, the Paphos district and Troodos mountain villages were hit by hail and rain accompanied by strong winds which later moved towards the capital Nicosia.

Troodos was coated in white, but not with snow as large hailstones have fallen across the area.

The stormy weather has sparked havoc in the road network of rural areas with police advising caution on mountain roads.

Kakopetria-Pinewood, Orkonda-Kato Pyrgos, Pedoulas-Kykkos-Milikouri, Pedoulas-Kampos and Kampos-Stavros tis Psokas were open only to cars with four-wheel drive after hailstorms.

Drivers are also advised to go slow, have their fog lights on and keep a safe distance from cars ahead of them.

Nicosia also had its share of storms as hailstones measuring 3 cm fell in the capital.

Thunder and rain are expected to last throughout the day across the island with rainfall reaching 50mm in some places.

Rainfall could last for up to six hours, according to the Met Office.

The wintery weather is to continue over the next couple of days, with predictions of the Met Office hinting that we may be in for a white Christmas.

A Met Office official told the Financial Mirror that Cyprus is affected by a low-pressure system in the region causing stormy weather and possibly snowfall on the highest peak.

“Despite the fact that the mountains have been coated white, mainly due to heavy hailstorms, we know that some areas have seen their first snowfall.

“This could pick up in the next days with some areas in the highest mountains being covered with snow,” said Michalis Mouskos of the Cyprus Meteorology Service.

Temperatures over the next couple of days are expected to range from 15°C to 5 °C which is the average for the season.

Sunnier weather is forecast for Friday with temperatures rising to 19°C on the coasts.

December is, on average, the wettest month of the year, with a mean precipitation total of 94mm, spread over 12 wet days.