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The snow storm named The Big One reaches Greece

17 January 2016 / 14:01:02  GRReporter
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The harshest winter for the past 20 years, called The Big One, is upon us! It is expected to hit Greece in the coming days. Snowfall intensified this morning, and the next two days will see the weather deteriorating even further.

The main feature of the weather over the last few hours was the gale-force winds. According to the latest reports of the fire service, there were 164 warnings for fallen trees and airborne objects yesterday and today. Meanwhile, the bridge over the Pinios River near Kalambaka was literally severed in two on Saturday night by torrent waters set off by heavy rain.

 

From today onwards, there will be heavy snowfall in the highlands as well as in the lowland areas of Epirus, Macedonia, Thrace, Thessaly and Central Greece. Temperatures will continue to fall.

Greece is going to freeze on Monday. A significant drop in temperatures is expected in most regions of the country. In Attica, the temperature will not rise above 5°C, and the mountains will be freezing. Showers are expected on Monday morning, while the Peloponnese, Central Greece and the mountainous regions of Macedonia will see more snow.

Strong winds of up to 7 Beaufort will be buffeting the Aegean, and up to 6 Beaufort – the Ionian Sea. On Monday night temperatures in most areas will drop below zero and it will be frosty.

Today's skies in Attica will be overcast, with showers and storms in places. The northern parts of the region will see snowfalls in the evening. The wind will come from the southwest, within the range of 6-8 Beaufort, and will gradually change to westerly. Temperatures will remain between 9 and 13°C.

In Attica temperatures will not exceed 5°C on Monday, with showers expected in the morning.

 

Sea transport

Strong winds of up to 9 Beaufort are challenging maritime transport. the routes from the port of Piraeus to the Cyclades and Crete are not running. The ferries to the islands in the Argo-Saronic Gulf are operating.

Vessels are still travelling from the port of Rafina to the Cycladic islands.

Only closed-type ships are servicing the Perama-Salamina line. Some other routes were left unserviced in the morning hours.

The Rio Antirio bridge is closed. So are the lines Prinos-Kavala, Alexandroupolis-Samothrace and Keramoti-Thassos.

The lines Igoumenitsa-Corfu and Lefkimi-Igoumenitsa are running according to schedule.

The National Meteorological Service forecasts decreasing winds later today.

Passengers are recommended to get information in advance from ports or tourist agencies as to whether their routes are running.

How to keep safe in bad weather

The Civil Defence Service gives the following tips to the public:

Keep informed about the changing weather through the media. The official sources are the National Meteorological Service and the Civil Defence Service.

In case of need please call the police at tel. 100, or the fire service at tel. 166, or the European emergency number 112.

Pin a note with the emergency numbers in a prominent place at home, and make sure your children know how to use them.

Help your child to remember his/her surname, address and home phone number.

Explain to all family members how and in which cases to turn the electricity, gas and water off, and how to use a fire extinguisher or seek help.

Equip yourself with a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, flashlight and batteries, portable radio.

 

If you travel:

Get information about the weather and road conditions.

Adapt your route and time in such a way as to avoid the peak of bad weather.

Travel during the daytime, possibly on central roads.

Inform family or friends about your route.

Do not ignore the directions of the civil defence, the weather office and local authorities, e.g. traffic police, coast guard or the fire department.

Check your car thoroughly before you depart.

Equip your car with snow chains, antifreeze, umbrellas, raincoats, appropriate shoes, flashlight, first aid kit.

Dress yourself appropriately.

Beware of skidding or being hit by falling objects or branches.

Use public transport wherever possible.

Be patient and calm. Panic can only make the situation worse.

Try to make life easier for the local authorities or assist their efforts.

Tags: weather forecast winter snow falling temperatures The Big One
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