An area of low pressure developing over the Ionian Sea has developed tropical characteristics know as a Medicane, a Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone, the National Observatory of Athens’ (NOA) Meteo weather service said on Thursday.
On Thursday morning, the Medicane, named Ianos by NOA, was in the sea area between Sicily and the Peloponnese.
The cyclone is expected to make landfall as a powerful storm across southern Greece on Friday, bringing heavy rain, flooding and gusty winds.
The atmospheric pressure in the center of Ianos is around 1,000 hPa, while the winds that accompany it, were estimated by satellites at 65 kilometers per hour - that is, about eight on the Beaufort scale.
It is expected to initially impact western parts of the country in the late afternoon, mainly the Ionian islands of Zakynthos, Cephalonia and Ithaca as well as Ilia and Messinia in the western Peloponnese.
The trajectory that will follow remains uncertain, though the more likely scenario is that the cyclone will turn south.
The Kyllini to Zakynthos ferry crossing in the west was shut down, as winds in the area reached 8-9 on the Beaufort scale.
The mayor of Zakynthos, Nikitas Aretakis, announced that all schools on the island will remain closed on Friday, in anticipation of the severe weather front.