Climate of Greece
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The climate in Greece is predominantly Mediterranean. However, due to the country's unique geography, Greece has a remarkable range of micro-climates and local variations. To the west of the Pindus mountain range, the climate is generally wetter and has some maritime features. The east of the Pindus mountain range is generally drier and windier in summer. The highest peak is Mount Olympus at 9,570 feet (2,916.9 m) tall. The north areas of Greece have a transitional climate between the continental and the Mediterranean climate.There are mountainous areas that have an alpine climate.
The climate of Greece can be divided into the following Mediterranean climate subtypes:
Mediterranean (dry and wet)
This climate occurs in the Aegean Islands, especially the Cyclades and the Dodecanese, southern and Evia, low-lying areas of Attica, the western, eastern and south low lying Peloponnesus areas, and the low-lying areas of Crete. During the summer, the weather is almost always sunny and dry, and any precipitation falls in the form of showers or thunderstorms from cumuliform clouds. The air is usually hot during the day and pleasantly warm at night, but there are some very windy days, especially in Cyclades (there a wind which blows in the Aegean sea in summer but it does not make problems) and the temperatures these days are lower than the normal days. Heatwaves may occur, but they are usually quite mild at the coastal areas, where the Etesian winds blow throughout the summer. Winters are wet and any snow that falls does not last long, especially in the south-facing slopes. Rain in winter is often persistent but it does not last for a lot of days in the eastern side of this climate: The west areas of this climate receive a high amount of precipitation every year, because the low barometric systems of Italy affect these areas and make their weather rainy. This low barometric systems cannot affect a lot the climate of eastern areas and these areas receive their precipitation from the Siberian anticyclone, which may fall as snow sometimes.
In this climate, the winter is harsh with abundant snowfalls, while the summers are cool with frequent thunderstorms. This climate is to be found on high mountains, like Pindus and Rhodope. Few meteorological stations are in areas with a truly Alpine Mediterranean climate in Greece and these are not available online. A city which is well known to the Greek people because of the ski center that it has is Karpenisi, which is built on mountains and it has an alpine Mediterranean climate.
This climate has characteristics of continental and Mediterranean climate. The winters are colder and wetter with cloudy or rainy days, and snow occurs 3-5 times in winter and once in March, but it does not last for a lot of days. Heatwaves may occur in the summer, but generally the summer is not warmer than the areas in south Greece. In this climate, there are lot of thunderstorms and showers in summer, but do not last for a lot of time. This type of climate is found in the Thessaly, Macedonia and Thrace.
- Abs. minimum temperature: −28.8 °C (−19.8 °F), Ptolemaida.
- Abs. maximum temperature: 48.0 °C (118.4 °F), Elefsina and Tatoi.
Τhe +48.0 °C (118.4 °F) recorded by minimum/maximum thermometers in Tatoi and Elefsina as reported by a communication of Dr. Athanasios D. Sarantopoulos is also the WMO record high temperature for Greece and Europe. Average annual temperature in Greece ranges from +10 to +19.7 °C (50.0 to 67.5 °F). However, since Greece is generally a mountainous country, real average temperatures vary considerably from region to region.,
Probably the most well known local winds in Greece are the etesians (also known as meltemia). With their name notating their annual fluctuation (έτος (étos) means year in Greek), these winds blow roughly from May to October, with their highest frequency being recorded in July and August. They keep temperatures and diurnal temperature fluctuations in the Aegean sea lower than the respective ones found in the Ionian sea or mainland Greece.
- Hellenic National Meteorological Service
- National Observatory of Athens
- Network of online weather stations