November 17th, 2018

Icy weather on the way

Icy weather is on its way with part of a cold front freezing parts of Greece since earlier this week expected to be felt in Cyprus by Saturday.

Meteorological Department official Panayiotis Mouskos on Thursday told the Cyprus Weekly that rain, storms and mountain snow would be the order of the day from tomorrow, along with a significant drop in temperatures.

“Temperatures are expected to drop by five to six degrees Celsius inland and on the coasts from Saturday and Sunday,” Mouskos said, adding this would see them dropping to 10 °C inland and on the coasts and “certainly below zero” in the mountains.

Rain and storms are also anticipated tomorrow, on Sunday and on Monday, the official forecast predicts.

Friday, however, is anticipated to be dry and fairly mild with similar temperatures to yesterday reaching maximums of 15°C inland and 17°C on the coasts and 6°C in the mountains.

“These are the usual average temperatures for this time of year so the drop will see them fall below average,” Mouskos said.

Snowfall and icy conditions have left many of the roads to the Troodos mountains closed to most vehicles. Many routes were accessible only to four-wheel drive vehicles or those with snow chains.

The authorities are hopeful melting snow over the coming months will supplement waterflow into Cyprus’ dams and reservoirs.

A series of particular dry months until December left the island relaying heavily on expensive desalination to avoid water cuts. However, desalination does little to help farmers and maintain natural forest areas.

According to the most recent official figures available, those released by the Water Development Department for yesterday, the water currently in Cyprus’ dams and reservoirs had reached 22.1% of their capacity. On January 5, 2015, the corresponding figure was 37.4%.

The heavy rain of the past month has seen two small dams become full or close to being full with the one at Kalopanayiotis at 100% of its capacity yesterday and the one at Pomos at 93.4%

However, there is a long way to go before the same can be said for larger ones with the island’s biggest, Kouris, reaching just 13.1% of its total capacity.