As a scorching heatwave tightens its grip on the region, local authorities are taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of residents. The Meteorology Department issued a double warning for exceptionally high temperatures, prompting officials to issue guidelines for staying safe in the sweltering conditions.
The Meteorology Department announced on Tuesday afternoon (15/08) that a yellow warning for extreme heat was in effect from 21:00 the previous evening until 18:00 on Wednesday afternoon (16/08). Simultaneously, a more severe orange warning was slated to come into effect from 12:00 today, as temperatures in mountainous areas are projected to soar to 35 degrees Celsius. Inland, the mercury is expected to climb to a scorching 40 degrees Celsius.
The forecast reveals the influence of seasonal low pressure in the region, resulting in sporadic occurrences of thin dust suspended in the atmosphere until Thursday. Today's weather is expected to be predominantly clear, with intermittent episodes of locally heightened low cloud cover in the western and northern coastal areas. Wind patterns will begin as south-east to south-west, shifting to north-west locally, with winds ranging from weak to moderate on the Beaufort scale at 3 to 4. By afternoon, winds will transition to south-west to north-west, maintaining the same intensity but with locally moderate gusts at Beaufort scale 4.
A notable exception is projected for the windward coastal zones, where strong winds are anticipated, reaching Beaufort scale 5. Sea conditions will vary, with the southern and eastern waters initially calm to slightly turbulent, intensifying to a slightly turbulent state and sporadic rough patches by the afternoon. In the western and northern areas, seas will exhibit slight turbulence, occasionally escalating to rough conditions. Thermometer readings are anticipated to peak around 40 degrees Celsius inland, hovering around 32 degrees Celsius in western and northern coastal regions, approximately 33 degrees Celsius in other coastal locales, and climbing to 35 degrees Celsius in elevated mountainous terrains.
Tonight, the prevailing clear weather will persist, although localized bouts of increased low cloud cover are predicted, particularly along the coastal zones. Early hours could see the formation of sparse fog or mist, mainly in southeastern and eastern areas. Wind directions will change to west to northwest, later shifting locally to northeast. Wind speeds will initiate as weak to moderate on the Beaufort scale at 3 to 4, gradually dwindling to weak at Beaufort scale 3. Sea conditions will remain slightly turbulent in the western and northern regions, while southern and eastern waters will range from calm to slightly turbulent. Thermometer readings are anticipated to drop to approximately 25 degrees Celsius inland and along the coasts, while higher mountainous elevations may experience a decline to around 24 degrees Celsius.
Looking ahead, clear skies are forecasted for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, though intermittent patches of cloudiness may develop.
Local authorities advise residents to adhere to safety recommendations during the ongoing heatwave. Among the suggestions provided by Civil Defense are avoiding unnecessary travel and strenuous physical activities under the sun, refraining from extended sun exposure, wearing cool and light-colored clothing, protecting the head with a hat, wearing high-quality sunglasses, consuming small and nutritious meals, staying hydrated with water and natural juices, and avoiding alcoholic beverages. Additional recommendations include moderating indoor temperatures using fans or air conditioning systems and seeking medical assistance for any health-related concerns that may arise.
Residents are also encouraged to check in on elderly or vulnerable neighbors, ensuring their well-being throughout the duration of the heatwave. As the region battles the high temperatures, collective efforts are underway to mitigate the potential risks associated with the scorching conditions.
[Information sourced from Cyprus Met Service]