Sea surface temperatures rise as meltemi winds ease


An easing of the annual northerly winds known in Greece as meltemia has led to a rise in sea surface temperatures in the Aegean Sea in July, Kathimerini understands.

“It was an unusual condition as, over the course of July, sea surface temperatures in the Cyclades island complex were higher than in the Ionian Sea, where average temperatures were higher in previous years,” the National Observatory of Athens’s research director Costas Lagouvardos told the newspaper.

He said that the meltemi winds this July were the second least powerful since 2009, when scientists began keeping records. Only seven days of strong meltemia were recorded over the same month. It is estimated that July sea surface temperatures in the Cyclades sometimes exceeded 27 Celsius, some 2 degrees higher than the 2008-2017 average.

Data collected so far in August suggest the frequency and intensity of the winds is closer to average levels.