Cyprus ending year with stormy weather

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Cyprus Met Office issued a yellow alert for heavy rainfall and storms until New Year’s Eve.

The alert was effective at 5.00 am on Thursday until 4 pm on Friday, New Year’s Eve, with the Met Office warning: “A combination of locally prolonged and temporarily heavy rain is expected to affect the island”.

According to the warning, the total precipitation will range between 55 and 80 mm per 24 hours as a low-pressure weather system moves in from Rhodes.

This is the latest low-pressure weather system in the past couple of weeks to bring along much-needed rain to fill half-empty dams.

Weather observers had predicted a dry winter with poor water accumulation in Cyprus dams.

However, with the recent rainfall, December has seen an inflow of 3,509 million cubic metres of water into the dams, compared to last year’s 3,107 mcm.

This, however, is but only a fraction of the 30,495 mcm that boosted dam reserves in December 2019.

On 28 December, the island’s dams were 48.2% full, compared to 74.1% on the same day last year.

Local showers and isolated thunderstorms will be on the menu for Thursday, with snow falling in the higher Troodos peaks.

Maximum temperatures will reach 16 degrees Celsius inland, around 17°C  on the coast and around 6°C  degrees in the higher mountains.

At night, temperatures will drop to 9°C inland, around 14°C  on the coast and 3°C on higher ground, where frost is expected to form.

The same pattern is forecast for Friday, with significant improvement in the weather expected from late afternoon, leading to a mainly clear New Year’s Day on Saturday.

Sunday will also be mainly fine with sleet created on the higher mountain peaks clearing up by night.

Sunday will be fine initially, but local showers or thunderstorms are forecast after midday, with sleet in the higher Troodos peaks.

The snow depth on Troodos square at 4.00 pm on Wednesday was 16cm.

Meanwhile, traffic police have urged motorists to take extra care as some roads were flooded Thursday.

Police said that various sections of the Limassol to Paphos motorway were deemed dangerous and called motorists to be vigilant and drive carefully.