The weather front dubbed Barbara is bringing low temperatures, frost, and heavy snowfall even in Athens and other parts of Greece on Sunday.
The northern suburbs of the Greek capital are covered in snow as traffic has been banned in several main roads. By midday, snowfall is expected to spread to most of Athens, intensifying in the evening even in low-lying areas.
These were the scenes during the morning at Afidnes and Agios Stefanos just north of Athens:
In Attica, traffic police has said drivers moving in the entire road network of the Attica prefecture must carry snow chains or other non-slip equipment. It also banned heavy trucks of over 3.5 tons from several highways. Authorities have also banned such trucks from sections of the Athens-Thessaloniki national road as well.
Ships have been banned from sailing from the ports of Piraeus, Lavrio and Rafina due to 8-9 northerly winds. The strong gale winds have also forced the suspension of the schedules Kyllini-Zakinthos (Western Greece, Ionian islands) and Arkitsa-Edipsos (Evia).
Barbara weather front spreads throughout Greece
Most of the problems in Central Greece are registered in Central Evia and the Mt. Dirfys area in particular. “We are fully prepared, people and machinery are ready, and we are not facing particular issues right now,” Deputy Regional Director Giorgos Kelaiditis told Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA). “Everyone is on red alert,” he added.
According to an updated emergency weather bulletin from the National Weather Service, the snowfall started in the early hours of the morning from the northern Aegean islands and by noon will affect both Thrace and Halkidiki.
The snow will spread further south before noon, intensifying and affecting the Sporades, eastern parts of Thessaly, Evia and eastern Central Greece, especially Viotia and Attica, including on plains. Crete and the Aegean islands can also expect snow.
After a lull overnight, the snowfall will intensify again on Monday throughout the region.
Sunday will also see a gradual drop in temperature to the order of 8 to 10C.
In view of the bad weather, the Fire Service has urged citizens to limit their movements to those absolutely necessary, noting that it is now mandatory for cars to have snow chains.
The phenomena are expected to continue until next Tuesday.
Weather front Barbara is the result of a high-pressure front over Europe extending from northwestern Africa to Scandinavia, combined with low pressures in East and Southeastern Europe, which have sent cold air masses toward the Balkans and Greece.
This is a developing story