A heat wave propelled air temperatures to a yearly high of 40C in Nicosia on Friday. For an otherwise moderate summer, the temperature for the week hovered around 39 degrees.
“Friday saw the worst aspect of the heatwave,” said Philippos Tymvios, an official at the meteorological service. “Temperatures the entire week caused serious discomfort, but according to our index, these levels will now begin to fall,” he said.
The Heat and Discomfort Index takes into account temperature and humidity. While humidity levels remained low during the day, a lack of air mixture caused discomfort to be abnormally high.
In Cyprus, sudden rises in temperature are typically due to easterly winds which flow from the Levant and its surrounding deserts. The directional flows result in Cyprus’ western coast usually being unaffected by the easterly winds. Paphos remained considerably cooler than Larnaca and Paralimni.
In the last 50 years, only five times has the temperature not reached 40 degrees in August. The hottest temperature recorded in Cyprus was 46.6 degrees in August 2010.
Temperature-wise this summer has been one of the mildest in recent years and despite the sudden spike last week, temperatures are expected to return to pre-heatwave levels by early next week.