Unseasonably balmy temperatures are set to drop in many parts of Greece, the national weather service (HNMS) warned on Monday, adding that chilly northerly winds will reach gale-force at sea over the Christmas holidays.
The capital's mountains will be getting a dusting of snow in starting on Tuesday afternoon and through Wednesday, with a frost setting in on Thursday.
In downtown Athens, the temperature is expected to drop from 8 degrees Celsius on the morning of Christmas Day to 3 Celsius at 8 a.m. on Wednesday and 2C on Thursday, according to the National Observatory's weather service, Meteo.
The mountains of the northern and central mainland, but also of the northern Aegean, Evia and the Peloponnese, should expect snow in the early hours of Tuesday, which will get gradually stronger as they migrate south to the highlands of the middle Aegean islands and Crete. Winds in these areas will be strong, reaching 8 on the Beaufort scale at open sea, the HNMS said.
The northern port of Thessaloniki will see a decline of 4 degrees from 3 Celsius at 8 a.m. on Tuesday to -1C at the same time on Wednesday.
Further north, in Kozani for example, Christmas Day is set to see the temperature drop from 3 degrees Celsius at 2 a.m. to -3 Celsius at 8 p.m. and down to -6 at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Meteo reported.
On Wednesday, snow is expected in eastern and southern parts of the country, including areas at an altitude of 400 meters and above in Evia and along the eastern mainland and Peloponnese, while winds in the Aegean will grow stronger, reaching 9 Beaufort.
Daytime highs in these areas will mostly remain in the 10-15 Celsius range in the lowlands and near the sea, but will be approximately 10 degrees cooler at high altitudes.