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Greece Records Highest Temperature in Its History in Unprecedented Heatwave

Greece heatwave
46.3 degrees Celsius (115 degrees F) was the highest temperature ever to be recorded by the NOA’s stations. Credit: Petr Kratochvil / Public Domain Pictures / Public Domain

The heatwave that has been gripping Greece since last week broke the country’s highest-ever temperature on Monday afternoon.

The town of Makrakomi in Greece’s Phthiotis region in the eastern part of the Greek mainland was the hottest place not only in Greece on Monday but in the entire European continent as well.

The meteorological station of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) that is stationed there recorded a jaw-dropping 46.3 degrees Celsius (115.3 degrees Fahrenheit).

This temperature is officially the highest ever to be recorded in Greece’s network of hundreds of stations operated by NOA.

For the registration of a temperature record, recordings of private stations that are operated by individuals other than NOA do not count.

Extremely high temperatures were also recorded across the Greek mainland on Monday, with the town of Dendra, northwest of Larissa in Thessaly, reaching 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit).

The cities of Thebes, Sparta, and Larissa also recorded temperatures above 44 degrees Celsius on Monday.

According to Giannis Kallianos, an MP and meteorologist for Greece’s MEGA TV channel, Greece held the five highest temperatures in Europe on Monday.

According to Kallianos, Makrakomi, Larissa, and Sparta were the three hottest towns and cities in Europe, followed by two more Greek urban areas, these of Lefkochori in Phthiotis and the city of Thebes.

Greece shuts down archaeological sites due to heatwave

Open-air archaeological sites in Greece will remain closed between 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM from Tuesday through Thursday, August 3-5, due to the high temperatures expected this week, the Culture and Sports Ministry of the country announced on Monday.

The Ministry said the shutdown was imposed for the safety of visitors.

Civil Protection authorities in Greece have already warned of the high risk the heatwave poses to the population, advising extreme caution to every citizen.

Greek authorities also worry about the risk of power outages due to excessive consumption. They are urging the public to restrict the use of electrical devices at peak times, from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM and 6:00 until 10:00 PM local time.

“Conditions for the electricity system are unprecedented, as consumption over the coming days is expected to reach peak levels due to the very high temperatures. For this reason, coordination of the various bodies of electricity producers at the highest level is essential to ensure the uninterrupted supply to consumers during the extreme phenomenon,” the Greek Energy Ministry stated over the weekend.

The consumption of electricity broke a record on Monday afternoon, with more than 11,000 megawatts being demanded at one time across the country.

Authorities in Greece worry that this record might be broken again over the course of this week, as temperatures are expected to remain very high across the country at least until Thursday.

Both the Prime Minister and the leadership of the Ministry of Energy, as well as other relevant bodies, asked citizens on Monday to limit the demand for electricity, especially during peak hours, in an attempt to avoid a large-scale power cut.

Related: Worst Heatwave in Decades Leads to Unbearable Conditions in Greece

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