Gale-force winds keep ferries moored as cold front sweeps in, bringing snow

Gale-force winds keep ferries moored as cold front sweeps in, bringing snow

Strong winds reaching speeds of 11 Beaufort in parts of the Aegean prevented ferry boats from sailing from the capital’s ports of Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrio on Monday morning and have even affected shorter routes to the Saronic Gulf island of Salamina, between the eastern port of Volos and the Sporades, and even the Igoumenitsa-Lefkimi service in the Ionian Sea.

The National Observatory’s Meteo weather service on Monday morning recorded wind gusts reaching speeds of 161 kilometers per hour off Karystos on the island of Evia, 147 km/h south of the island of Tinos and 130 km/h on the capital’s Mount Penteli.

The sailing ban looks unlikely to be lifted as gale-force winds are forecast to continue through Monday and possibly on Tuesday, as a result of a cold front that swept into Greece on Sunday night.

Dubbed Hephaestion after the ancient Macedonian aristocrat and general by the weather service, the fresh cold snap has brought showers and snow to many parts of the country, including the highlands of the Greek capital, which is expected to see further snowfall later on Monday in lower-lying areas and its northern suburbs.

Police have already closed the rural road linking the Attica mountain town of Penteli to coastal Nea Makri in the east, while snow chains are required on the old national highway to Thiva around the area of Mandra in the west. The Athens-Lamia highway, which was snowed in last month during a previous cold snap, was clear on Monday morning.

Heavy snowfall was also causing problems on roads in western Greece and the northern Peloponnese, especially in the mountains of Arkadia and Korinthia, and on the highlands of the island of Crete.

Motorists and sailors in all parts of the country are advised to keep informed of conditions and should avoid venturing out in the weather unless necessary.

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