Friday afternoon has been marked by heavy snowfall in the Platres area and thick fog reducing visibility elsewhere in the mountains.
A house in Paphos community of Peyia, meanwhile, was struck by lightening on Thursday night. Extensive damage was caused to the home, whose residents were away at the time. Diko MP Charalambos Pittokopittis has called on the state to help support the homeowners in their time of need.
When it comes to weather conditions over the festive period, localised showers and isolated thunderstorms are expected to be the order of the day this festive season with the Meteorological Department’s forecast also predicting more mountain snow.
Heavy snowfall over much of the past week left close to half a metre of snow on the highest peaks of Troodos’ Mount Olympus so it looks like Cyprus will, in the mountainous regions at least, definitely be enjoying a white Christmas.
Elsewhere, sometimes heavy rain was interspersed with short periods of sunshine yesterday and more of the same is expected today.
Friday’s maximum temperatures are also anticipated to remain at similar levels to yesterday, namely 12°C inland, 14°C on the coasts and 1°C in the mountains.
Storms and showers, along with similar temperatures, have also been forecast for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Speaking to the Cyprus Weekly yesterday, Meteorological Department official Panayiotis Georgiou said: “It has been raining quite lot and there has also been snow in the mountains and the weather is expected to remain the same over the coming days, up until and including Monday”.
We can expect localised showers “without ruling out storms,” Georgiou said, with more snow in the mountains and hilly areas.
“Temperatures will remain at similar levels to Thursday so reaching highs of 12°C to 14°C and lows of 5°C to 8°C inland and on the coasts and 1°C to -1°C in the mountains,” Georgiou said.
He noted this was lower than the 16°C to 17°C average maximum inland temperatures for this time of year and that frosty conditions were expected to stay in place, particularly in the mountains.
Georgiou, however, also revealed a sunny period is anticipated between Christmas Day afternoon and Boxing Day afternoon.
Those planning a festive visit to the mountains, meanwhile, should take particular care as snowfall and icy conditions have over the past few days made many mountain roads accessible only for four-wheel drive vehicles and those with snow chains while other routes to Troodos have been completely closed to all traffic.
Cyprus police’s official website www.cypruspolicenews.com has regular updates, unfortunately currently only in Greek, on road conditions.