Cyprus drenched by supercell storms

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Cyprus on Tuesday woke to the sound of heavy thunder as supercell storms hit the island in the early hours.

The Met Office issued a yellow warning for heavy rain that is in effect until 6 pm.

Strong thunderstorms first battered the southwest coast before making their way across the island.

The rain’s intensity varied between 35 and 50 millimetres per hour, while hail was also reported.

Climate observers KitasWeather said Cyprus is affected by a low-pressure weather system creating the preconditions for multicellular and supercell storms.

A multicellular thunderstorm cluster is a storm composed of multiple cells, each at a different stage in the life cycle of a thunderstorm.

A supercell is a thunderstorm characterised by the presence of a mesocyclone: a deep, persistently rotating updraft.

Due to this, these storms are sometimes referred to as rotating thunderstorms.

Of the four classifications of thunderstorms (supercell, squall line, multi-cell, and single-cell, supercells are the least common and have the potential to be the most severe).

KitasWeather issued an orange weather warning: “The hazards arising from such storms are heavy rainfall, increased electrical activity, very strong gusty winds and hail up to 3 cm in diameter”.

Maximum temperatures on Tuesday will rise to 20 degrees Celsius inland and on the coast, the average for the season. In the highest mountains, temperatures will reach 10°C.

Night temperatures will drop to 10 degrees inland, around 14°C on the coast and 4°C in the higher mountains.

The weather is expected to improve on Wednesday, with above-average temperatures.