Cyprus braces for winter storms

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The Cyprus Met Office issued an amber alert on Monday for intense rain and storms, expected to last for 48 hours, while the island’s civil defence department warned the general population to stay indoors.

The warning, in effect from 10pm on Monday, until 10pm on Wednesday, is for severe local thunderstorms expected to affect mainly the northern and eastern areas of the island.

A hail warning is also in effect.

Rain is expected to fall at a rate of between 55 and 70 millimeters per hour.

Meanwhile, the civil defence service has also issued a warning, urging the public to stand prepared for intense rainfall.

The department urged businesses and members of the public to clear drainage wells ahead of the expected storms and to keep up-to-date with information and announcements.

The civil defence also suggests repairing any gaps in perimeter walls to prevent water blockage and preparing sandbags to fortify entrances against incoming floodwaters, particularly in known flood-risk zones.

It also advised against unnecessary travel.

“During flood conditions, individuals inside buildings should seek refuge on higher floors, particularly avoiding basements,” the civil defence warned.

Both warnings for extreme weather end on Wednesday night, but temperatures will remain below the seasonal average of 15C.

Avgi

A low-pressure weather system affecting the region, dubbed Avgi (Dawn) is responsible for the unusually rainy and chilly weather.

On Monday evening, temperatures will drop to 7C inland and the coasts, and below freezing in the mountains, where snowfall is expected.

“The phenomena from about 1200 meters and above will be in the form of snow, with layers of snow mainly from 1300 meters and above, while in the case of a storm in a mountainous area, snowfall will be observed up to 100-200 meters below,” said observer Kitas Weather.

Tuesday will remain rainy with temperatures dropping further to a maximum 12 inland and coasts, and 7C in the mountains. Nighttime temperatures in the capital will drop to 5C inland, 7C on the coasts and temperatures below zero in the mountains.

Wednesday will be even colder and rainier inland, with maximum temperatures not exceeding 8C, and 11C along the coast. The mountains will see temperatures reaching a maximum of 3C and dropping to -4 on the highest peaks at night.

The weather will be warming up from Friday onwards, when temperatures will return to the seasonal average, to slightly exceed them early next week.