Announcement by the Department of Meteorology regarding extreme high temperatures and rainfall distribution during August 2023
Following the very warm July 2023, particularly high temperatures prevailed on the island in August 2023 as well.
Table 1, below, presents the maximum daily temperatures recorded during August, at the five main meteorological stations of the Department.
Table 1: Maximum Daily Temperatures (in oC), at the 5 main meteorological reference stations of the Department of Meteorology, during August 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 August 2023, there were very high temperatures throughout the island and for a very long time, especially in some areas, such as the mountainous areas.
As it can be seen from Table 1, during August, maximum temperatures were recorded at the mountainous meteorological station at the Forestry College of Prodromos (altitude 1376 meters) over 31oC (Tmax>31oC) for a sequence of 8 consecutive days, something that was recorded again in August 2010. In total, 14 days where the daily maximum temperature was greater than 31oC were recorded at this particular station, ranking the Prodromos station in fourth place in relation to the total number of days where its daily maximum temperature was at the yellow danger level due to very high temperatures, followed by 2010, 2020 and 2021 with 18,17 and 15 total days with Tmax>31oC, respectively. From the records of the maximum temperature at the mountainous station at the Forestry College of Prodromos, it appears that this was for six consecutive days higher than 33oC, as in August 2021. However, this year, from these six days, four (simultaneous and consecutive) days had a daily maximum temperature in the red danger level, i.e. Tmax>35oC, which up to now was held by August 2010, with three (simultaneous and consecutive) days of records with Tmax>35oC.
In relation to the island inland reference station, the Department’s meteorological station at the Athalassa radiosonde station and the consecutive days with a daily maximum temperature beyond the yellow, orange and red high temperature warning limits, the following are worth mentioning: August 2023, at the particular meteorological station, a total of nine days were recorded in which the daily maximum temperature was greater or equal to 40oC, compared to August 2020 and 2021, where a total of 16 days with Tmax≥40oC were recorded. Also, two consecutive days with Tmax>42oC were recorded this year compared to 2021, where six consecutive days with Tmax>42oC were recorded, i.e. temperatures at the orange danger level. Also, this year one day was recorded in which the daily maximum temperature exceeded 44oC and ranged into the red danger level, as did in 2021, 2020 and 2010. Never before have more days been recorded with a daily maximum temperature ranging into these danger levels.
Table 2, below, presents even more data for the main reference stations and the records set during August 2023, as well as their ranking in relation to the extreme maximum during each station’s operating period.
Table 2: Mean and Extreme Temperatures (in oC) relative to the normal temperatures, at the 5 main meteorological reference stations of the Department of Meteorology, during August 2023. Normal temperatures refer to the period 1981–2010.
Specifically, during August this year, the 2nd highest daily maximum temperature was recorded at the meteorological station of the Department at the Athalassa radiosonde station, with this temperature reaching 45.3oC, following the 45.6oC recorded at this meteorological station in August 2010.
A record temperature was also recorded at the Department’s mountainous meteorological station at the Forestry College of Prodromos, with its daily maximum temperature reaching 38.4oC. The second highest daily maximum temperature recorded to date at this meteorological station was 37oC, in 2020. The station at the Forestry College of Prodromos comes first in the ranking list, in terms of the highest daily minimum temperature, since at this station the highest daily minimum temperature that has even been recorded since the day of its operation was 29.5oC.
Also important were the records of the average daily temperatures, both the maximum and the minimum as well as the average daily temperature. Specifically, August 2023 ranks as the second warmest August for the mountainous meteorological station at the Forestry College of Prodromos, with an average daily temperature of 26oC. That is, it presents a positive deviation of 2.9oC compared to the normal of the month which is 23.1oC. It is also ranked second and third in relation to the average daily maximum and minimum, respectively, temperature since it shows a positive deviation of 3.4oC and 2.6oC, respectively, in relation to the corresponding normal of the month. In general, August 2023 was a particularly warm month as far as the mountainous areas of the island, with record temperatures.
The meteorological station at the Athalassa radiosonde station, although it has recorded the second highest daily maximum temperature (45.3oC), does not however classify this year’s August as the warmest August for this particular station.
August 2023 was also very warm for the Department’s coastal meteorological station at Paphos Airport, since the average daily temperatures recorded there, throughout this month, rank it in third place, with a positive deviation of 1.9oC compared to the normal of the month. However, this year’s August is classified as the warmest for the particular meteorological station in relation to its average daily minimum temperature since its average daily minimum temperature shows a positive deviation of 2.5oC in relation to the normal for the month, raising it in first place.
Very high average daily minimum temperatures were also recorded at the coastal meteorological station of the Department at Larnaca Airport ranking it in second place, since its average daily minimum temperature shows a positive deviation of 2.3oC compared to the normal of the month.
From Table 2 it can also be seen that the second highest daily minimum temperature was also recorded for the coastal meteorological station at Akrotiri during August 2023, which reached 28.5oC.
The general conclusion is that August 2023 is, for the island of Cyprus, one of the warmest Augusts during which several temperature records have either been re-recorded or surpassed, especially in relation to the mountainous areas, but also in relation to the minimum temperatures for mainly the coastal areas of the island.
In addition, however, to the special temperature conditions that prevailed on the island during August 2023, particularly impressive was also the rainfall that occurred on August 28. As it can be seen in Image 1, which follows, the highest amounts of rainfall have fallen in areas in the north of the island, in the eastern inland areas, in areas southeast of the Troodos mountain range and also in areas in the southeastern coastal areas.
Image 1: Map showing the daily distribution of the amount of rain, for August 28, throughout the island of Cyprus, in mm.
During the midday hours of August 28, thunderstorms of thermal instability that occurred mainly in areas southeast of the Troodos mountain range gave large amounts of rain, which in some areas ranged between 44-51mm. On the same day and specifically during the first evening hours, Cyprus was affected by a disturbance of dynamic causes, which affected the island initially from the northern coast and with a southern-southeastern course it affected initially the eastern inland areas and later the southern-southeastern coastal areas, giving once again relatively high amounts of rain accompanied by a large number of electrometeors. This kind of nocturnal stormy activity during August is rare and a similar phenomenon has been recorded again in Cyprus during August 1999.
Relevant Press Releases
Funding for Film Productions for the Year 2023 – 2024