Suffocating heat over Cyprus

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Suffocating heat over Cyprus

Post  Twosox on Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:20 pm

Courtesy of the Cyprus Mail

SOARING temperatures and suffocating dust levels yesterday made life difficult for the elderly and sufferers of chronic ailments, who were advised to remain indoors.

With temperatures exceeding 30 degrees inland and dust levels well above normal, people complained that what had once been considered a mild spring month was fast becoming a preview to a scorching summer.

“I can’t believe it’s only mid April and already it’s this hot,” people complained.

But chief weatherman Kyriacos Theofilou said soaring temperatures in April were no longer uncommon.

“The last time we had very high temperatures like today was in 2004 and 2005, when temperatures reached 34 degrees,” he said.

Theofilou said over the past decade the frequency of unusually high temperatures as early as April had increased.

Yesterday, temperatures inland reached 33 degrees, 26 degrees on the coast and 25 degrees in the mountains.

“Tomorrow, temperatures will remain high, with possibly a slight drop. The significant drop can be expected on Wednesday, when temperatures will go back to 23 to 24 degrees. In the afternoon there is even a possibility of scattered showers.

Temperatures on Thursday are not expected to be much different to Wednesday,” the Meteorology Department chief said.

Yesterday’s weather conditions were made much worse by the dust levels.

The Department of Labour Inspection said the level of dust in the atmosphere, which had blown in from the Sahara, had doubled since Sunday.

By 9am the atmospheric concentration of respirable particles with diametre less than 10 micrometers (PM10), had reached the maximum value of 255́g/m3 with minimum value of 134́g/m3.

By 11am PM10 levels had reached 147́g/m3 in Nicosia, 111́g/m3 in Limassol, 108́g/m3 in Larnaca, 110́g/m3 in Paphos, 99́g/m3 in Zygi and 162́g/m3 in Ayia Maria Xyliatou.

“Consequently it is expected that the average 24 hour value will exceed the corresponding limit value of 50 ́g/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter) as defined by legislation,” the Labour Department said.

Labour Inspection Department head Leandros Nicolaides said although it was not the worst atmospheric dust levels the island had experienced, it was still advisable for vulnerable population groups to limit their outdoor movements until the phenomenon passed.

“Because of the small size of the respirable particles and their likely negative effect on human health, the public and vulnerable groups of population (children, old people and patients) are particularly advised to avoid the outdoors and exercising in open spaces during this phenomenon,” Nicolaides said.

Workers in open spaces were also recommended to use suitable means of personal protection.

For future reference, hourly updates of atmospheric measurements can be found on the webpage of the Department of Labour Inspection

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