Greece will be hit by a low pressure system, named Medea by the Athens Astronomical Observatory, which is expected to bring snowfall, even at low altitudes, from the central region of Thessaly southward.
“It will be a strong cold front, with very low temperatures, it will be intense and will last until the middle of next week,” Kostas Lagouvardos, director of research at the National Observatory of Athens and responsible for the website meteo.gr, told Kathimerini.
A snowstorm in February shouldn’t be major news. Yet, with temperatures hovering around 20 degrees Celsius just days ago, one wonders what is happening.
Scientists, when asked, avoid using the term “climate change” to describe this swing from unseasonable heat to deep frost. Yet, they all believe we are living through a climate change, which has certain features.
First of all, a temperature rise: Data show that the average temperature in Athens from 2011-20 was 1.5 degrees higher than during 1860-1900, the first period with reliable data. And, second, extreme phenomena are becoming more frequent and more destructive. Systems such as Medea are hitting Greece more frequently. In Athens, the number of rainy days has decreased, but rainfall is up, significantly, meaning about 50 percent more rainstorms.
Northern Greece will be hit first, from Saturday morning and all day Sunday. It will experience low temperatures, with highs in the region of Western Macedonia below freezing, with rain or sleet today turning to snowstorms Sunday.
In the second phase, starting Monday and lasting at least until Wednesday, the north will still be gripped in frost, but the major snowfall will happen in eastern and southern Greece, including Crete’s highlands and mountains, while the Cyclades islands will be hit by rain and sleet. Winds will stay strong.