Greece is exiting the longest unseasonally rainy spell the country has experienced since 1975, meteorologists of the National Observatory of Athens weather service said in an announcement on Sunday.
Saturday was the seventh day of inclement weather in a row, with local showers and storms affecting the country since August 21st.
According to meteorological data, the last time Greece had experienced such an extended period of unseasonal rainy weather in mid-summer was forty-seven years ago in 1975 from July 30th to August 5th.
Heavy rainfall and lightning
Heavy rainfall was recorded throughout the country, excluding the Western Peloponnese and the Ionian islands.
The significant amounts of rain resulted in numerous problems in many areas, including Athens, where streets flooded, disrupting traffic and damaging properties.
The bad weather was accompanied by intense lightning activity, which peaked on August 24th when fifty-two thousand flashes of lightning fell across Greece.
A total of 115,000 lightning bolts were recorded by the Zeus Lightning detection Network within the seven-day period.
One person died from a lightning strike on the mountains near the city of Drama in Northern Greece on August 21st.
“Cold lake” weather hit Greece
The meteorologists’ announcement explains that the main cause of the extended, intense rainfall was an atmospheric disturbance in the upper troposphere which originated in the North Atlantic.
This disturbance moved toward the broader region of the Adriatic and the northwest Balkans in the first phase, gradually bringing bad weather to central and northern Greece for two days beginning on August 20th.
Beginning on August 22nd, the phenomenon closed in toward Greece, causing a further deterioration in the weather throughout the country through to the following day.
In its third phase, beginning on August 24th and ending on August 26th, it became “detached” from general circulation and settled over Greece in the form of a “cold lake.”
Combined with existing humid and unstable aerial masses, this “cold lake” brought heavy rain and storms in most parts of the country.