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Cyprus to sizzle for a few more days

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The Mediterranean island will endure a few more days of extremely hot weather with temperatures above the average 37°C until next week.

Cyprus’ Met Office issued another yellow alert for Friday and Saturday for maximum temperatures to exceed 40 degrees Celsius.

On Friday and Saturday, temperatures are expected to peak at 41°C, and between 33°C and 35°C on the coast.

Mountain areas will not be offering cooler weather with temperatures reaching 32°C.

Anything above 31°C is considered extreme for Cyprus’ highest points.

Temperatures should drop to the seasonal average around Thursday, with experts not expecting to see any more heatwaves.

Cyprus has endured the second hottest summer on record, the number of days with temperatures exceeding 40°C, almost equaling last year, which went down in history as the hottest on record.

This July was the second hottest month on record, as a prolonged heatwave began, pushing average temperatures to 39.5°C, close to last year’s all-time high of 39.9°C.

It is the sixth consecutive year that July’s average daily maximum temperature was above the seasonal norm.

In July, maximum temperatures soared to 44°C, while Cypriots were given almost no respite between heatwaves, as temperatures remained above the norm for the month.

August has also been scorching hot.

On 4 August, temperatures soared to 45.7°C in Nicosia, just half a degree under the record of 46.2°C registered on 4 September last year.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, weather observer Eric Kitas of KitasWeather said this summer almost broke last year’s record for the most days with temperatures over 40 degrees, missing it by just a couple of days.

In July 2020, Cyprus saw daily maximum temperatures reaching or exceeding 40°C more times (17) than in any other July since 1983, and the second hottest day on record at 44.6°C.

This July’s temperatures reached a blistering 44° C, with more or less the same number of days with temperatures above 40°C, said Kitas.

The average daily maximum temperature in July this year was 39.5°C  compared to 39.7°C in 2020.

August 2020 had 12 days with temperatures equal to or above 40°C, this August is expected to fall a few days short of the total.

Asked if Cyprus should interpret the two consecutive extremely hot summers as a sign of global warming, the weather observer said we would need to wait a couple of years to make safe conclusions.

He did say urbanization has contributed to high temperatures recorded in the towns.

“In Nicosia, we see temperatures exceeding 40°C, while in Athienou, for example, they are more or less hovering around the average for the season.

“This is due to the expansion of the capital with more and more buildings and concrete structures holding heat for a much longer period of time than a rural area would,” said Kitas.