Cyprus is sweltering under an extremely hot spell this month, following the coldest March on record, said the meteorological service.
Cypriots find themselves in the unusual predicament of violently transitioning from winter weather to summer in weeks, going from record freezing temperatures to unusually balmy climes.
Making matters worse, a cloud of dust has settled over the island in recent days, with authorities warning the concentration is around four times permissible limits.
Authorities on Monday warned that a high concentration of dust continues to be in the air and warned vulnerable groups of society to stay indoors.
Higher dust concentrations combined with soaring temperatures have increased discomfort levels until Friday.
Talking to state television CyBC, the head of the meteorological department, Kleanthis Nicolaides, said Cyprus is sweating under much higher temperatures than the seasonal average of 23 degrees Celsius.
In Nicosia, maximum temperatures reached 28°C, and in the coming days, temperatures will exceed 30°C inland.
Nicolaides said that Cyprus is affected by a high-pressure weather system, not expected to leave the region before Friday, when a cooler system pushes it out.
The Met Office announced that March’s unseasonable deep freeze broke the record for the lowest average daily temperatures.
It said many stations recorded the lowest ever daily averages for March, most notably at Limassol port which notched 6°C, the lowest since the station there began recording in 1976.
Larnaca airport reported a similar record low at 5.3°C, the lowest for March since 1977 when it began logging weather reports.
Athalassa in Nicosia recorded a minimum daily average of 3.9°C, the lowest since records there began in 1983.
March’s wintery spell saw rare snowfall blanket the Pentadaktylos mountain range, while the capital experienced snow lasting several hours on 13 March.