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February was one of the warmest and driest on record  

February this year has been one of the warmest and driest on record, the met service said on Tuesday.

According to preliminary data some of the maximum temperatures recorded last month were extreme for this time of the year, making it one of the driest Februaries ever.

The met office said that the extreme temperatures were due to high pressure in the atmosphere, lack of wind, and downdrafts that affected the eastern Mediterranean region.

“These are rare phenomena for February as they usually occur during the summer months,” a met official told the Cyprus Mail.

Polis Chrysochous station for instance, according to the data, recorded an absolute maximum temperature of 28.2C for the month, compared with the normal for the station for the last 30 years being only 16.3C at this time of the year. The average daily maximum however for February 2016 was 21.3C, that was 5C above normal for the month.

The Athalassa station in Nicosia recorded an absolute maximum of 27.8C, while the normal is 16C. The average daily maximum was 20.8C. In Nicosia, the met office said, the second highest recorded temperature for February was in 1987 with 25C.

Troodos weather station also recorded an absolute maximum temperature for February 2016 of 18.9C, despite the fact that the average daily maximum for the month was rather low, at 4.1C.

Similarly, the Larnaca airport station, recorded an absolute maximum temperature of 26.2C, while the normal for the last 30 years was 17C, and the average daily maximum was 20.1C. The Paralimni showed an absolute maximum of 24.4C in February compared with the normal of 16C.

Such high temperatures in Paphos and Larnaca were again recorded in 2010, with 26C and 23.3C, respectively.

As regards rainfall, the Athalassa station recorded only 9.3 mm cumulative rainfall which makes February 2016 the driest February for this station for the last 30 years. The normal rate of rainfall in February is 44.5mm on average.

In Paphos and Troodos, the recorded cumulative rainfall for this February was 10.6mm and 44.2mm respectively, making it the second driest February for nearly 20 years. In Paphos the driest February was in 1989 with only 6.3mm rainfall and in Troodos it was in 1998 with 36.6mm rainfall.

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