The arrival of the ‘Zenobia’ weather system, which has been holding Greece firmly in its grip since the early hours of Sunday, is expected to “correct” the unseasonally low snow coverage seen prior to December 27. Snow coverage in Greece stood at just 3 pct before Zenobia’s arrival, when the 15-year average for the same period is 8 pct.
This is likely to increase significantly over the next few days, according to the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) weather service meteo, as there has already been a sizeable increase of snow in the last days of December.
The descent of Zenobia from the Arctic has sent temperatures plunging to below -10C in parts of northern Greece and snow has disrupted road transport in areas of Attica and other parts of Greece, while storms and strong winds have disrupted ferry connections.
Temperatures are expected to drop further on Sunday, while areas in the east and south, especially, will see rain, sleet and snow. Bitter northerly winds reaching up to gale force will blow in the Aegean. The Sporades islands and possibly the islands of the northern Aegean may have snow at even low altitudes, while intermittent snowfall may also be seen in Halkidiki, Thrace and possibly Western Macedonia.
The weather phenomena are expected to intensify in the east and south after nightfall and spread to areas of central Greece and Thessaly.
The forecast range of temperatures for Sunday is -7C to 2C in Western Macedonia, -5C to 7C for other parts of northern Greece, -2C to 9C in Epirus, -4C to 7C in Central Greece, 2C to 10C in west and southern Greece, -2C to 8C on the rest of the mainland. Temperatures will range from 1C to 10C on the Ionian islands, 1C to 7C on the islands of the north Aegean and between 5C and 12C on other islands in the Aegean and Crete.
Attica is forecast to have cloudy weather with rain and sleet on Sunday, with some snow at higher altitudes and possibly in low-lying areas of the north and west. The weather is expected to worsen overnight, with snow affecting more areas on Monday, especially in the north and west and near mountain ranges. Temperatures will range between 5C and 7C, but up to 2-3 degrees lower in the north and west. Northerly winds up to 6 Beaufort, rising to 7 or 8 Beaufort at sea.
Cloudy weather with light snow in the mountains and eastern parts of the prefecture are forecast for Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 1C to 5C and northwesterly winds of up to 6 Beaufort.
Photos from Omalos, Palia Roumata and Lefka Ori
Photos from the Venetian Harbour of Chania, by Pavlos Bouzakis