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December precipitation 188 per cent of monthly average

tseriou weather 06
File Photo: Recent rains (Christos Theodorides)

Heavy rains in December have more than made up for a relatively dry start to the hydrological year, according to new figures issued by the meteorology department on Monday.

These show that overall, the government-controlled areas have since October 1 received 122 per cent of average rain for the first three months of the 2021-2022 hydrological year. Up till early December, total rainfall was around 60 per cent of the average.

Indicative of the bountiful rains, December precipitation was at 188 per cent of the average for the month. From December 1 to 31, a total of 198 mm of precipitation was recorded – nearly twice the 105 mm which is the average for the month.

“We ended 2021 extremely well,” head of the meteorology department Kleanthis Nicolaides told CyBC on Monday.

Despite the welcome rains, December was only the 18th wettest since records started in 1901 with the wettest being in 1991, Nicolaides added.

Nicosia’s rainfall in December was 245 per cent of the average with 142.1mm, while Lythrodontas notched up 263.1 mm or 284 per cent of the average.

Prodromos was the wettest location with 311mm of precipitation recorded in December, which corresponds to 171 per cent of the average, followed by Platania with 303mm or 163 per cent of the average.

The least rain fell in Athienou, although the 101mm recorded there was still 169 per cent of the average for the month.

The rains have sent rivers flowing and revived hopes that the island’s dams shrinking stocks will be replenished.

At the end of 2021, total reserves had risen to 52.1 per cent of the total – edging up from 48 per cent only three days earlier. Nevertheless, this was still significantly down on the 73.9 per cent on the same day last year.

Overall, December saw 11,923 million cubic metres (mcm) flow into the dams – nearly three times the 3,107 mcm of December 2020. Since October, the dams have recorded an inflow of 15,789 mcm nearly half the total collected (36,098 mcm) in all of 2020.

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