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Greece Blanketed in First Snow of Winter

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Snow in Evia, Greece. Credit: Greek Reporter

Areas across Greece have been blanketed in snow on Saturday as the storm “Carmel” brings low temperatures and increased snowfall in the country over the weekend.

The name, which was given in conjunction with the Israeli meteorological service, refers to the city which is mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Samuel and also in Joshua.

The EMY says that the severe weather will affect the southeastern Mediterranean in the coming days. It forecasts that the worst days will be Saturday and Sunday.

Evia, Attica, the Peloponnese, Fthiotida, and Pelio have all experienced snowfall on Saturday, with some areas completely covered in snow.

Low temperatures, heavy snowfall, and strong gusts of wind have limited mobility in many areas, particularly in Magnesia, the region where the city of Volos and Mt. Pelio, where temperatures have reached -6 degrees Celsius (21 degrees Fahrenheit), are located.

Much of Greece impacted by snow, extreme weather from storm

The nearby Sporades islands, which include Skopelos and Alonnisos, have also faced extreme weather conditions, especially strong winds. For this reason, all ferry routes to the islands from Volos have been suspended.

In Attica, the region where Athens is located, snowfall has reached the city’s mountainous suburbs and nearby villages, including Vilia, Ippokrateios Politeia, Parnitha, and Hymettos.

Roads leading up to the heights of Parnitha have been closed since Saturday morning, and the power in the area has been shut off.

Similar snowy conditions have been reported in Evia, Parnassos, Agoriani, Setta, Fthiotida, and in mountainous regions of the Peloponnese.

In the rest of the country, the storm will bring about rain and low temperatures and strong winds, particularly in seaside areas.

Strong northeast winds in the Aegean could reach a dangerous 9 Beaufort (up to 51 mph), especially on Saturday evening.

While snowfall has occurred initially in the mountains of the mainland, it is expected to spread gradually into Crete. The snowfall will likely be heavier in the mountains of Thessaly, eastern Sterea, Evia, and the eastern Peloponnese, while areas with lower altitudes will be gradually affected (indicative altitude 600-900 meters, up to 2,952 feet).

Emergency services on high alert for the extreme weather

The General Secretariat for Civil Protection of the Ministry of Climate Crisis & Civil Protection says it has warned emergency services, as well as local authorities, to be on increased alert in order to deal immediately with the effects of the severe weather.

It also advises citizens to be very careful, and avoid unnecessary travel.

In late November another severe storm claimed one life and caused widespread destruction in buildings and agricultural fields in western Peloponnese.

A man died when his car was carried away by floodwaters in Vrachnas, northern Ilia.

Last week, a woman was killed as her car got caught amidst the rushing waters of the Zliana River in Katerini, Macedonia, following heavy rains.

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