Cold Arctic air and snowstorms affecting Greece over the past couple of days claimed lives of at least 3 people and caused record low temperature in the country’s north.
Heavy snow disrupted both land and air traffic, with the worst of it affecting East Thessaly, Evia and northern sections of Central Greece on January 3 and 4. Three people were killed in Keratea, 45 km (28 miles) SE of Athens on January 3 after their car overturned near a stream during bad weather conditions. This brought the number of people killed in Europe by snow and cold over the past couple of days to 14.
On January 5, the city of Thessaloniki was covered in a thick layer of snow and completely paralyzed by the blizzard with no public transport running.
Bad weather continued over the weekend and into the new week, with snow blanketing capital Athens.
The snowfall prompted authorities to close schools and courthouses, while many public offices and banks provided minimal services, AFP reported.
— Greek Concert Status (@GreekConcert) January 9, 2019
Acropolis of Athens in snow. pic.twitter.com/NliwuuRey1
— Ioannis Tz (@tzoumio) January 4, 2019
Snow at the Temple of Zeus and the Acropolis in Athens, Greece today. Jo pic.twitter.com/1EKStHCWRw
— BBC Weather (@bbcweather) January 8, 2019
— ASCSA (@ASCSAthens) January 8, 2019
— Takis Karagiannis (@T_Karagiannis) January 8, 2019
The Zappeion Megaron in the snowy Athens.* pic.twitter.com/q2y4oI37pq
— BASILIO NOVARTI (@BasilioNovarti) January 9, 2019
— Alexandros Maragos (@AlexMaragos) January 8, 2019
While early morning tourists at the Acropolis were treated to a snow-globe scene on January 8, locals had to contend with roads made impassable by ice and many schools and offices were closed in the Athens region, Reuters reports.
On the same day, the city of Florina in northern Greece registered an all-time low of -23 °C (-9 °F). The weather disrupted highways, rail and bus services.
Nevrokopi registered -21 °C (-5.8 °F), Neos Kafkasos -20.4 °C (-4.7 °F), Grevena -19.9 °C (-3.8 °F), Vovousa -19.5 °C (-3.1 °F), Mavrolithari -19.3 °C (-2.7 °F), Ptolemaida -18.5 °C (-1.3 °F) and Pertouli -17.5 °C (0.5 °F).
Extremely low temperatures were also recorded in Kozani, where -13 °C (8.6 °F) was recorded, and it got down to -12 °C (10.4 °F) in Kastoria, according to Greek Reporter.
The absolute low temperature record in Greece is -29.6 °C (-21 °F) registered in the city of Ptolemaida, Kozani on January 27, 1963.
Similar weather, with short periods of warming, is expected to continue through the rest of the month.
Featured image credit: Ioannis Tz