By Evie Andreou
WEATHER watchers could find a new challenge this year keeping an eye on the accuracy of predictions for the year ahead already made by retired teacher Paschalis Constantinides.
Constantinides, who has been predicting the weather for the year ahead month by month has been interpreting weather patterns since 1956 when he was a high-school student.
Speaking on CyBC morning TV show ‘Kali sas Mera’, he gave weather predictions for the first three months of 2016. He said he was taught the method while a high school student in Famagusta “from a centenarian man”.
He observes weather patterns between April and October each year and predicts the next year’s weather based on his observations.
According to his 2016 predictions, January, is expected to enter with “low temperatures and low rainfall”.
Between January 6 and 14, temperatures will be low with isolated showers, Constantinides said, while the chance of snow on Troodos “will be unlikely”.
He said that he observed the weather patterns last July, to make his predictions for January.
Between January 18 and 22, he expects a plunge in temperatures, because “it was the hottest point of (last) July”. “Warmer summer means heavier winter,” he said.
He added that the equivalent period in July – 18 to 22- there was humidity and high temperatures. “We might see the first snow of the year,” he said referring to January 18-22”. He added that low temperatures would continue until the end of January.
February, whose weather Constantinides predicts by observing last August, is expected to be the coldest month of the year, he said.
Between February 1- 6, temperatures are expected to be very low, accompanied by rains. Constantinides said it would snow in the mountains and lower mountainous areas. Following that up until February 17, he predicts rain in the mountains and a chance of more snow. Between February 19 and 25, he expects rain.
March, Constantinides said, was a very difficult month to predict because of some “peculiar” observations he made last year.
“Back in September, while I was observing the weather patterns to make predictions for March, I observed something peculiar I could not interpret. At the beginning of the month, while there was northern wind, the sea, instead of being on the ebb, was swollen. This is not something I have witnessed all the years I have been observing the weather,” Constantinides said.
He added that due to this phenomenon, there could be something “unexpected” as regards the weather between March 3 and 14. During the same period he expects low temperatures with no rain, but snowfall in the mountains.
Between March 15 and 25 there could be rain and or hail, he said.
He also urged weather enthusiasts to be on the lookout in February for the weather in Egypt.
“At the beginning of August, I heard that temperatures in Egypt had reached 47degrees Celsius. It will be very interesting to keep an eye on temperatures there between February 9 and 12, as I believe we might see very low temperatures,” Constantinides said.
Predicting the weather ahead by interpreting previous weather patterns is not uncommon in Cyprus. The most widely used traditional method though, is the “Minallagia” or “Merominia” method, where people interpret the weather patterns of the first 12 days of August. Each day equals a month of the following year. This skill was passed down from generation to generation.