Cyclone Carmel on its way

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Cyprus is enjoying a sunny spell before bracing itself for cyclone Carmel hitting the island on Saturday night.

Cyclone Carmel is expected to batter Cyprus from late-night Saturday through Monday afternoon with heavy rain, powerful winds, and thunderstorms that will be long and intense, near gale-force winds and high seas, the Met Office.

Carmel, a low-pressure system developing over Rhodes and moving south-eastward to Cyprus, is gathering force due to unstable air mass in the atmosphere affecting the region.

The Met Office is expected to issue a weather warning later Friday, with meteorologists warning that the brunt of the system will be felt on the coast.

Greek and Israeli weather officials call the depression Carmel from a list of names; it is the third name on the list (the previous two have already been given in respective depressions).

The name “Carmel” refers to the corresponding biblical mountain and the homonymous city on the west coast of Israel.

The name is also found in Cyprus among the Maronite population.

On Friday, the weather will be fine, with sunny skies interrupted by periods of cloud and chances of local showers and thunderstorms.

Maximum temperatures will reach 18 degrees Celsius inland and, on the coast, while it will be 7°C on higher ground.

Evening skies will be cloudy with chances of local showers and thunderstorms, while very strong westerly and south-westerly winds are expected.

On Friday night, temperature lows will drop to 7°C inland, around 11°C on the coast, while it will be 0°C higher up where frost is expected to form overnight.

Clouds will start to form around Saturday midnight, signalling the approach of the severe weather system.

Cyprus mountains are set to see more snow over the weekend and in the coming days as temperatures are expected to drop below 0°C on the highest mountains.

The Civil Defence Department urged people to prepare their homes for extreme weather conditions and flooding.

It advised people to secure objects that might be blown away, avoid working or staying in building basements.