After three days of rising temperatures, Cyprus witnessed near-summer conditions on Tuesday, with the official thermometer in Nicosia peaking at 37 degrees Celsius, while the island is in for an even hotter day on Wednesday, expected to reach 38C.
Weather observer Eric Kitas told the Financial Mirror that the high temperatures result from warm air masses blanketing the eastern Mediterranean.
Top temperatures are approximately 7 degrees warmer than the recorded average of 31 C for end-May.
“Temperatures are significantly higher these days, especially inland and in the mountains, with the coasts enjoying cooler weather due to winds blowing in from the sea,” said Kitas.
The weather observer said that temperatures are to drop on Thursday as a cooler weather system will be moving our way, bringing along with it a rise in humidity and possibly fog in the inlands.
Kitas said that this is not the highest temperatures Cyprus has recorded this year, despite not entering summer yet, as 41C was recorded in early May.
“It is not uncommon to have such high temperatures in May. Last year’s May had the all time high for the month, as temperatures reached 43C and 44C,” he said.
Asked whether early heatwaves could be an indication of what to expect during summer, Kitas said that on the contrary, weather observers expect to see a cooler summer in Cyprus this year.
“If we have another summer like last year, that would be extremely alarming. But we expect to see a much cooler summer, as such high temperatures are not common to be recorded in consecutive years,” Kitas explained.
Hottest summer in 2020
Cyprus has swelted under what could be described as the hottest summer on record, as warm-weather records were broken in July, August, and September last year.
In July, Cyprus saw daily maximum temperatures reaching or exceeding 40 degrees Celsius more frequently (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 for the month with 44.5°C on 31 August.
Average daily temperatures for August also reached a record 39.5°C.
The island had suffered heat waves until late autumn as temperatures climbed to the 40s even as late as October.
In September, Cyprus sweated under the hottest day on record as temperatures reached a whopping 46.2°C.
The highest temperature recorded in October was in Nicosia on 7 October where the thermometer hit 40.4°C, the Met office said.
It was the highest temperature recorded for October since 1982.