Greece is hit by heavy snow and frigid temperatures on Thursday as gusts of cold air are making their way to the country from Northern Europe.
Storm “Filippos” brought snow even in Athens and several other regions of the country. The civil protection service on Thursday afternoon sent out a new message to residents of Attica, Viotia, Fthiotida and Evia, with a strong recommendation to avoid all non-essential travel and use snow chains while Storm Filippos is underway.
“We repeat a strong recommendation for the avoidance of non-essential travel and use of snow chains in Attica, Viotia, Ftiotida and Evia. Dangerous weather phenomena in progress,” the message said.
Primary and secondary schools in the northern suburbs of Athens and other towns in Attica will be shut down on Thursday due to the weather, the Region of Attica said on Wednesday.
Several roads in the northern suburbs of the Greek capital are closed and police have forbidden vehicles not equipped with snow chains on the main highway to Thessaloniki and the old Elefsina-Thiva national road.
Heavy snow in central Greece, Macedonia
Heavy snow is falling in parts of Central Greece, including Pelion and Volos, where drivers have been advised to have snow chains and many schools remained closed, as well as Central Macedonia, Western Macedonia and Ioannina.
Footage from the city of Trikala in Thessaly shows heavy snowfall:
Traffic measures, such as banning heavy vehicles and requiring the use of snow chains, were imposed in several areas, while many schools remained closed.
On Thursday, snow is expected to fall in Crete, the Aegean islands, Thessaly, central Greece, the Peloponnese, Macedonia, and Thrace.
Snowfall will continue in the mountainous regions of Greece, Evia, the Sporades, the Cyclades and Aegean islands, and Crete through to the weekend.
The weather phenomenon is expected to last until Sunday.
Country hit with heavy snow in January
A heavy snowstorm, called “Elpis,” hit Greece in late January, blanketing the country in a dense layer of snow that brought Greece to a halt for a number of days.
After the major snowstorm paralyzed the country for three days, a top Greek scientist warned that Greece could expect more heavy snow in the future due to climate change.
Dr. Christos Zeferos, Professor of Physics and Meteorology at the Academy of Athens, stated to television network MEGA soon after the storm that phenomena such as “Elpis” will become more and more common due to the changing climate.
“There are people who say that all of this is natural. The fact that the frequency and intensity of these meteorological events are increasing is not random. It is happening within a few decades. Climate change is here, it is with us, and we need to learn how to live with it,” he stated.