Emergency shelters opened as temperatures drop

Municipal authorities in Athens, Piraeus, Thessaloniki and other cities around Greece on Monday night opened dozens of emergency shelters as temperatures across the country slid into the single digits, with forecasts expecting the cold snap to persist through Thursday.

Heavy snowfall in northern Greece prompted the closure of schools in Florina, Prespes and Kozani, where temperatures dropped to between -2 and -4 Celsius. Schools will also be shut on Tuesday in Ioannina and Konitsa, also in the north, as well as parts of central Greece. In Thessaloniki, snowfall hampered visibility at the city’s airport, causing two flights to be rerouted to Athens.

The national road network also suffered problems, with snow chains being required in Pella, Florina, Kastoria and mountainous parts of the Peloponnese.

The cold snap also came with strong winds, keeping ferries anchored at the port of Piraeus. Those planning to travel by sea on Tuesday or Wednesday should check ahead with their travel operator. Motorists are also advised to be vigilant.

The cold snap is expected to persist at least through Thursday, the National Meteorological Service said, forecasting the worst of the wintry weather on Tuesday and Wednesday. The snow is also expected to reach parts of Attica, and residents in Athens may also see a few flurries.