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Sizzling summer arriving later than usual

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Cyprus will get its first hot summer weekend, following a cooler-than-usual June with temperatures falling below average and some areas seeing three times as much rain than usual.

While maximum temperatures towards the end of June hit an average of 36 degrees Celsius, so far, the highest temperature recorded was 34°C on Tuesday in Nicosia.

Areas such as villages in rural areas have seen rainfall up to almost four times as much rain than the average for the month.

According to data from the weather department, Lythrodontas in rural Nicosia saw a 360% increase in rainfall in June, while residents in Athienou, Larnaca, saw an increase of 223%.

However, according to weather observers, this year’s June may seem extraordinary, but it fits into weather patterns of recent years.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, weather observer Eric Kitas of KitasWeather confirmed that June has been cooler this year, with some changes in rain patterns creating the impression it has been wetter.

“Usually, June starts with maximum daytime temperatures around 31°C, to work their way past 36°C towards the end of the month.

“So far, we have not seen temperatures reach the average for the season in June,” said Kitas.

It is, however, not uncommon after a series of years when May and June have been hotter than usual, as in previous years, to see weather patterns balance out with cooler temperatures.

“In any case, we are heading for hotter days as this weekend will be the first of the season with fine weather”.

He noted that June’s weekends, so far, have either been windy or rainy, keeping Cypriots away from beaches.

“Temperatures are expected to reach the average 36°C for the season, while no winds are expected”.

Asked whether Cyprus has seen increased rainfall, Kitas said that although people have that impression, this is not the case.

“We have actually just seen 52% of the average rainfall for the month.

“What has happened is that the rain has fallen mostly on the plain this year.

“The mountains have not seen the rain they are accustomed to in previous years.

“Prodromos, the island’s highest village, has, for example, only seen 19% of its average rainfall in June”.

Asked about what weather models predict for the summer, Kitas was hesitant to predict that cooler weather would prevail.

“We can say with certainty that June will end without a heatwave hitting the island.

“However, we should not expect the Cyprus summer to be any different than we are accustomed to. That is hot and dry”.