This summer in Greece was quite unusual in comparison with previous years. Stronger north winds in August (but weaker in July), warmer seas in the Aegean Sea than the Ionian, lack of periods of very high temperatures, record heavy rains and very intense activity of lightening have characterized this summer at an unprecedented level.
According to the Weather Observatory of the National Observatory of Athens, the seven most notable features of the summer of 2018 (June-July-August) in the Greece were:
- The number of days with strong northern winds (meltemia) in the Aegean in July was impressively low, with only eight days (the lowest number of days in the last ten years). On the contrary, this August was a month with a high frequency of strong northern winds (24 days of meltemia)
- Warmer seas in the Aegean: due to the absence of meltemia in July, the surface temperature of the sea in the Aegean Sea was 2.5 ° C higher than that of the Ionian Sea, when the opposite is usually happening.
- The strongest winds of the summer occurred on July 23, the day of the deadly fire in Attica’s Mati. The gusts of westerly winds reached 123 kilometer s per hour in Parnitha (the highest gust recorded during the summer of 2018 all over Greece) and exceeded 100 km / h at the Isthmus of Corinth. At several stations in Attica the wind gusts this day were the strongest of the last eight years.
- Absence of high temperature periods: The first heatwave occurred in July 16-17, when the temperature reached 40 degrees in eastern Sterea Ellada. The second and last heatwave took place a few days later, on the weekend of 22-23 July, when the maximum temperature at Kranidi reached 42.1 degrees, the highest summer temperature recorded throughout Greece.
- The temperature never reached 40 C degrees in Attica! For the first time since 2007, no time this summer the temperature in Attica exceed 40 degrees Celsius. The highest temperature in Attica was recorded in Rafina on 23 July (39 C) on the day of the lethal fires, due to the wind downhill coming from the wildfire.
- Heavy rains in much of the country: Rainfall in many regions reached record highs for a summer season. Indicatively in June, 249 millimeters of rainfall in Zagora, 198 millions in Kassandria were recorded. In July, the 229 millimeters of rainfall in Vrilissia, Attica and 170 millimeters in Xanthi. In August, it was remarkably the 176 mm of monthly rainfall in Naoussa and 100 mm in Skopelos. The maximum daily rain of the summer was recorded in Naoussa on August 27 with 149 millimeters of rain.
- Very intense lightning: According to the recordings of CEZ / meteo.gr’s ZEUS system, the lightning activity in July 2018 was the highest in the last 14 years, with 103,000 lightning strikes accross the country.