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December second hottest on record

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December 2023, with an average islandwide temperature of 14.5C, is the second warmest December, the met office said on Tuesday.

The weather in December, it said, was extremely warm and extremely dry.

Unstable weather conditions prevailed during December 6-12, 16, and 21-23, causing rain, localised thunderstorms, hail, and snow in Troodos.

The average temperature was about 3C above normal, and the average rainfall was 50.4mm or 48 per cent of normal for the month. Records in Cyprus began in 1961.

There were no extreme weather occurrences, however on December 11, areas of Nicosia and Larnaca were left without power due to intense storm activity. The main features of this month were severe drought and high temperatures experienced across the island.

The average temperature for the month was about 2.9 degrees above normal. Average daily temperatures were above or around normal throughout the month, except for December 10 in Prodromos which was 2.3 degrees below normal.

Maximum temperatures in Athalassa exceeded 18C on all days of the month, while in Paphos and Larnaca they exceeded 19C on all 31 days of the month, while in Prodromos they exceeded 8C on 30 occasions.

Most stations recorded their highest maximum temperature between December 4 and 5 and their lowest temperature between December 19 and 20 and Christmas Eve.

According to preliminary calculations, the average rainfall for December was 50.4mm or 48 per cent of normal. Monthly rainfall was below normal in most areas and ranged between 21 per cent (Vavla) and 111 per cent (Tseri) of normal.

Hail was recorded on December 6 (Avdellero, Oroklini), 8 (Paralimni and Dherynia), 11 (Agros, Ha-Potami and areas of Paphos), 11-12 (Stavrovouni), 12 (Alethriko, Psevdas, Pyrga (Larnaca)), 20 (Troodos) and 21 (Paleochori, Dymes).

Snowfall occurred on December 22 (Troodos).

Total rainfall during the period October 2023 – December 2023 was approximately 133.1mm or 69 per cent of normal. In general, total rainfall was below normal in most areas and ranged between 35 per cent (Dherynia) and 116 per cent (Tseri) of normal.

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