The state forecaster in the Republic of Cyprus is defending a severe warning issued for Sunday, with social media users who stayed in saying they missed out on good weather after Storm Carmel failed to deliver.
According to local reports, social media users were livid over what appeared to be false alarm on Sunday, after Carmel made landfall in Cyprus but did not cause damages or severe phenomena as described in the forecast.
State radio on Monday morning reported that Nicosia residents had observed clear and even sunny skies on Sunday, while periods of clouds and rain were also in the mix.
But state meteorologist Kleanthis Nicolaides says the forecast was not wrong but Carmel's phenomena had simply broken in parts thus affecting the island with less intensity
Funny memes also appeared on the internet with some social media users making comments about epic fails by forecasters or joking that Carmel did not have a vaccination certificate and was quarantined.
But meteorologist Kleanthis Nicolaides, who heads the state’s weather service, says the forecast was not wrong but Carmel's phenomena had simply broken in parts thus affecting the island with less intensity.
“Not all three phenomena came at once, which is what had been expected.” Nicolaides said on Monday morning, referring to prolonged rain, thunderstorms, and heavy winds.
Weather officials had said a “combination of prolonged rain and heavy thunderstorms” was expected to affect the area and called on citizens to stay indoors Sunday and avoid unnecessary outings during an orange-level warning that was set to expire Monday afternoon.
Many business owners heeded the advice by Civil Defense and Fire Department officials about securing their properties, with some placing sand bags in front of their stores, while others stayed home and did not go out local media said.
But despite some dangerous highway conditions in the south and southeast due to rain accumulation and mud, there were no damages recorded in general, while police on Monday said all roads to Troodos Mountains were open only to vehicles equipped with antiskid chains or four-wheel drive systems.
“We did not get it wrong, we issued the warning based on the data we had available and thank goodness all three phenomena did not pound [the island] at once but came separately,” Nicolaides said, suggesting that criticism was not fair.
Showers and thunderstorms were still expected Monday when an orange-level warning remained in effect until the afternoon.