Greece gets ready for its first summer heat wave.
Greece is preparing for its first significant heat wave of the season, with temperatures in some areas expected to exceed 40 degrees Celsius. The mainland is anticipated to experience peak temperatures of 43 degrees Celsius on Friday and Saturday, a phenomenon that occurs every few years, according to Panagiotis Giannopoulos, a meteorologist from the Hellenic National Meteorological Service (EMY). The heat wave is predicted to persist for six days, raising concerns about potential health risks, especially for the elderly and individuals with medical conditions.
On Thursday, the temperature in the center of Athens reached 39 degrees Celsius, and it is forecasted to exceed 40 degrees Celsius on Friday and Saturday before dropping slightly on July 16 and 17. Greece is well-prepared for heatwaves, as air conditioners are installed in most homes, hospitals, restaurants, and hotels. While this heat wave is not expected to be the most severe in recent years, precautionary measures are being implemented.
The state mechanism is on high alert, public hospitals are ready, and the Ministry of Labour has announced special provisions for employees in both the public and private sectors, including remote work and adjusted operating hours. Climate change models indicate that the Mediterranean region, including Greece, can expect more heatwaves in the coming decades. Over the past three decades, Athens has experienced five times as many heat waves compared to the period between 1961 and 1990. The heat wave has been named “Cleon” by Greece, Cyprus, and Israel, which share a weather monitoring system.