Temperature and its distribution during July 2023
The Department of Meteorology informs that during July 2023, particularly high temperatures prevailed in the island and in general throughout the european south.
In particular, an extensive high pressure system, the Azores High pressure system, accompanied by a very warm and dry air mass, extended from the beginning of the month to the coast of Africa and the Western Europe. Gradually, it expanded further east towards the central and eastern Mediterranean, affecting the weather of the southern european countries in general as well as our island, especially during the second half of the month.
Due to the very warm and dry air mass that accompanied this system, very high and in several cases extremely high temperatures were recorded in many areas of the southern Europe. This system was given the name “Cleon”. The name was given not only because of its very high temperatures (both maximum and minimum), but also because of its duration.
Table 1, below, presents the maximum daily temperatures recorded during July, at the five main meteorological reference stations of the Department.
Table 1: MaximumDailyTemperatures (in oC), at the 5 main meteorological reference stations of the Department of Meteorology, during July 2023. The table shows the days when the maximum daily temperature met the criterion according to which a yellow (or higher level) warning is issued, for very high daily temperatures, per station.
More specifically, during July 2023, very high temperatures were recorded throughout the island and for a very long time.
July this year saw a record for consecutive days with maximum daily temperatures exceeding the threshold for issuing a yellow level extremely high temperature warning. In particular, the meteorological station of the Department, at the Athalassa Radiosonde Station, surpasses the previous record for the number of consecutive days with a maximum daily temperature (Tmax) greater than or equal to 40oC, which was in 2000 (with a total of 12 consecutive days with Tmax≥40 oC). This year, we had a total of 16 consecutive days with Tmax≥40 oC. It is also noteworthy that not only during these 16 consecutive days the maximum daily temperature fluctuated above 40oC, but was also greater than or equal to 42oC. Never before until today had there been so many consecutive days with such high temperatures in the month of July, for the Athalassa Radiosonde Station.
It is reported that the weather station at the Forestry College of Prodromos had recorded a total of 16 days in which the maximum daily temperature was higher than the yellow danger level (for maximum temperatures), ranking it in 3rd place, after 2017 and 2020 (a total of 17 days with Tmax>31 oC) and 2000 (total of 19 days with Tmax>31 oC).
Table 2, below, shows even more data on the main reference stations and the records set during this July, as well as their ranking in relation to the extreme highs during each station’s operating period.
Table 2: Average Temperatures (in oC) relative to normal temperatures, at the five main meteorological reference stations of the Department of Meteorology, during July 2023. Normal temperatures refer to the period 1981–2010.
A particularly important observation is the fact that at the four of the five main reference stations (except for the station at the Forestry College of Prodromos), the average daily temperature recorded at each of them is the highest ever recorded, while at all stations the average daily temperature is higher than the corresponding normal for the month. Another important characteristic is the absolute 40 degrees that has been recorded as the average daily maximum temperature in Athalassa. At all stations the average temperature has a positive deviation from the corresponding normal of the month, with this deviation ranging from 2.5oC to 2.9oC.
The daily maximum temperatures recorded at the stations were also very high. At all stations, a positive deviation of daily minimum temperature was recorded in relation to the corresponding normal of each station, with this deviation ranging from 1.3oC to 2.6oC.
The two coastal stations at the island’s airports, i.e. the stations at Larnaka and Pafos airports, have recorded their highest average daily temperature during July this year, from the day of operation of each station, ranking them as the stations with the warmest July, while the second highest average daily temperatures have been recorded at the Athalassa Radiosonde Station, at the Akrotiri and at the Forestry College’s Station in Prodromos, ranking in the 2nd place in relation to the corresponding warmest July. In general, the average daily temperature has fluctuated by 2.1-2.7oC above the normal for the month.
All stations have recorded extremely high maximum temperatures for the month of July. At the Athalassa Radiosonde Station, the highest maximum temperature recorded was 44.6oC, which ranks it in the 1st place, the same as the maximum recorded in July 2017. At Larnaka and Pafos airports, the highest maximum temperature recorded in July this year were 40.4oC and 38.1oC, respectively, ranking both these stations in the 3rd place. The extreme maximum at Larnaka airport was recorded in July 1998 (41.1oC) and at Pafos airport in July 2017 (41.6oC). At Akrotiri, the highest maximum temperature recorded in July this year was 38oC, ranking the station in the 7th place, after 1977 where the extreme maximum temperature had reached 40.2oC. Finally, the Forestry College Station in Prodromos is ranked in the 8th place for this July, with its maximum temperature reaching 34.5oC, after 2017 when it ranked in first place with the temperature climbing to 36.7oC.
Table 2, shows that this year’s July is a record month for the Larnaka airport area, since this station ranks first in all maxima, with the sole exception of the absolute maximum temperature for which it ranks in 3rd place, after the equivalent of July 1998 with 41.1oC, which is the station’s absolute maximum temperature.
The general conclusion is that this year’s July is, for the island, one of the warmest Julys, during which several temperature records have either been re-recorded or surpassed.
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