Greece braces for a sustained heatwave that started on Thursday and may last until the end of July, meteorologists have warned.
The meteorological service at the National Observatory of Athens, Meteo.gr, expects temperatures to rise by about ten degrees Celsius above the norm for the season.
In a bulletin on Thursday, Meteo.gr announced that the relatively cool air masses which had prevailed over eastern Europe and spared it the heatwaves of western parts are gradually giving way to warmer ones.
The new heatwave began on Thursday and although such forecasts can vary, the above-average temperatures are expected to persist at least until the end of the month.
In the heat-sensitive areas of the mainland, as meteorologist Giannis Kallianos notes, temperatures will reach 41 to 42 degrees Celsius. These include: the lowlands of Central Macedonia, for example, and parts of the Serres prefecture, areas to the west of Thessaloniki, the lowland parts of Pella and the Kilkis prefecture, and the Thessalian plain.
The heatwave will also affect areas of Epirus, parts of Aitoloakarnania, Fthiotida and Boeotia. The westernmost areas of the Prefecture of Attica as well as parts of Argolis, Corinth, and Laconia will also possibly face higher than usual temperatures.
As far as the region of Attica is concerned, the maximum temperatures for the next few days will be as follows:
Friday, July 22nd: 37-38°C
Saturday, July 23rd: 38°C
Sunday, July 24th: 40-41°C
Monday, July 25th: 40-41°C
The heatwave in Greece will not be of great intensity but will last
The temperature started rising on Thursday and will peak during the weekend while, according to ERT meteorologist Panagiotis Giannopoulos, the following fifteen days will be hot, especially in Attica.
He predicts, in fact, that on Sunday and Monday, the temperatures in the mainland of the country will exceed 40° Celsius (104° Fahrenheit.)
In Attica, residents will not see the lower temperatures of 31° to 32° Celsius which had prevailed for days for at least fifteen days.
According to Yiannopoulos, the heatwave will not be of great intensity, but it will last, and temperatures in the continental areas will remain above 37° to 38° Celsius.
Meteorologist Clearchos Marousakis said he expects the weekend to be hot with the temperatures reaching 41° Celsius.
According to his forecast, the following regions will be hit by temperatures of over 40° Celsius: Thessaly, Agrinio, Pyrgos Ilias, Messinia, and Laconia.
A lethal heatwave hit western Europe
A heatwave across Europe earlier in the week sparked devastating wildfires and prompted evacuations.
The intense heat has led to deadly wildfires in Portugal, where at least 238 people have died, according to the BBC, and in the southwest part of France, where over 12,000 people have been evacuated.
The UK recorded its highest ever temperature of 41° Celsius—105.8° Fahrenheit— on Monday. Meteorologists issued the country’s first-ever Red warning for extreme heat.
Meteorology experts say heatwaves have increased in frequency, intensity, and duration because of human-induced climate change.
Since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gas. Consequently, in the last thirty years, the number of climate-related disasters has tripled.