Cyprus alert for gale-force winds

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Cyprus is being battered by strong gusts, with the Met Office issuing a yellow warning for gale-force winds picking up speed later Wednesday.

The Met Office said that near-gale and north-westerly winds, between 6 and 7 on the Beaufort, were expected to affect areas in Limassol and Paphos, moving across the rest of the island.

According to the warning, strong winds, possibly reaching temporary gusts of 8 on the Beaufort scale, will start picking up at 9 am until the evening.

Wind gusts may reach gale force eight.

Weather service gale warnings occur (between 7-9 Beaufort) when forecasted winds range from 34 to 47 knots (63 to 87 km per hour).

Gale force winds above 62 km/h (Beaufort 8) can shake big trees and cause the medium to high waves in the sea.

Weather forecasters sometimes use the term “gale-force winds” to describe conditions that aren’t quite as extreme as hurricanes or tropical storms but can deliver damage to crops or damage property.

On Wednesday, police warned motorists that a lane section of the Limassol Nicosia highway has been closed near the Tseri exit, known as Halepianes, due to an obstruction from a fallen metal object.

Reports from Limassol say that scaffolding at a building was blown over onto electricity wires, resulting in a power outage. No injuries or damages to cars were recorded.

Police are urging the public to take measures and secure any object liable to be blown about and to take precautions for scaffolding and large tree branches which may be adjacent to power lines.

Strong winds are also expected to bring temperatures below the average 20C for the season.

According to the meteorological service, temperatures on Wednesday will drop from well over 20C in the previous days to 16C inland, 17C on the coasts and 8C on the highest mountains.

Maximum night temperatures will fall to 6C inland, 8C on the coast, and 2C on the highest mountains.

Temperatures will remain the same on Thursday and Friday, with some high clouds and the possibility of rain.

It will start to feel warmer with above-average temperatures for the season by the weekend.