Because this summer will not be the hottest.

By | May 14, 2023

Meteorologist, physicist and former EMY director Nikos Kanderes expresses his assessment that the summer of 2023 will not be the hottest that Greece has ever experienced, adding that there is no cause for concern.

“My assessment is that this summer will not be the hottest we’ve ever experienced. It will be something we’ve been through before, so there’s no need for fear and worry, I wouldn’t even say terrorism,” says Mr. Canderes.

With many years of experience, Mr. Canderes maintains a rich archive where he has recorded temperatures and hot days from 1980 to the present. As he explained to APE-MPE, the worst heat wave observed in the Greek territory in the last 50 years was in July 1987, the month in which heat invasions usually arrive. In July 1987, as Mr. Canderes mentions, for 12 days the temperature was above 37 and 38 degrees and for 8 days it was 40 degrees and higher, while in the winter of the same year there was much snowfall. At the same time, as he points out, “the smallest heat wave was in July 2018, which lasted 3 days, however, it was accompanied by the fire of the century in an urban area, in Mati, Attica with 104 victims”. . Explaining that hot days are characterized by temperatures reaching 37 degrees Celsius or higher, Mr. Kanderes points out that great importance should be attached to the intensity of the heat and its duration.

“The hot flashes that are observed 2-3 times a year, of the order of 5 and 6 days, are treated, but those that last 8, 9 and 10 days, make the situation difficult,” he told APE-MPE.

Examining his record and his observations over the years, for the months of June, July, August and the days when temperatures above 37 degrees Celsius were recorded during these months, Mr. Kanderes comes to the following conclusions:

During the decade 1980-1989 in the Attica basin, 125 days were recorded with temperatures of 37 degrees Celsius and higher, especially in 1987 and 1988, which were 12 consecutive days.

· In the decade 2000-2009 the total number of days was 158, while during the decade 2010-2019 they reached 221 days.

Especially during the aforementioned decade, it was observed that the hottest year was 2012 since a total of 44 days were recorded during the summer months with temperatures above 37 degrees Celsius. In 2014 it was 30 days. In 2016, 28 days were recorded, while in 2017, 27 days.

“We notice that there is a significant increase in days. Referring to the period 2020-2022, we find that in 2021 we had 28 days with temperatures above 37 degrees Celsius, which is also related to fires, while in 2022 there were 19 days with temperatures above 37 degrees Celsius. It looks like it won’t be the hottest summer we’ve ever had. I don’t think it can be repeated this summer to have 30 and 40 days of those temperatures. I don’t think there is any particular concern,” Mr. Canderes tells APE-BPE.

Regarding the management of forest fires, Mr. Canderes emphasizes that there is a great need to emphasize prevention.

“Emphasis must be placed on prevention and then on immediate intervention. Now there is the possibility because compared to other years local self-government has also developed to a great extent. Volunteers have also increased. It requires everyone’s preparation. If they intervene directly what sooner possible, things will be much better. We have to make a greater effort because there is no room for more green to be lost in our country”, says Mr. Kanderes, adding that from his experience as a front-line meteorologist, he believes that there must be an adequate distribution of the air forces since the day before. “Experience and effort are also needed because the weather always gives the signal, as long as someone knows how to interpret it and the State intervenes immediately, because once again this year there is a lot of money of Civil Protection, but at the end of the period the coefficient will be seen performance. But the most important of all is prevention, “he stresses.

Regarding the El Niño phenomenon, Mr. Canderes points out that it causes fluctuations in the southern hemisphere and is monitored by scientists with satellites because it has direct economic consequences in South America and Australia, and in central Africa and Indonesia. “Events that may be accompanied by floods, strong events that have passed to the Northern Hemisphere may affect Central and North America. From there, however, for them to reach Greece is, in my opinion, impossible. In any case, such powerful phenomena need monitoring. We should look at previous years, such as 1999, 2015 and 2016 when this phenomenon was rampant. Greece then was not affected at all. If in the future it is observed that this phenomenon is also related to Greece, then we will be able to support it. It is now out of time to repeat that this affects Greece. We are monitoring it, but we have other events to monitor that affect Greece”, underlines Mr. Kanderes.

Regarding the recent drought in Western Europe, Mr. Canderes points out that as long as Western Europe is occupied by hot incursions from Morocco, there is no need to worry here.

“Drought phenomena exist and affect many crops, such as the olive tree. This year it was a mild winter. Rainy days were well below normal values. The observed rainfall if we exclude western Greece and parts of northern and central Greece, in the other regions the heights were lower. Fortunately, May came to partially make up for these deficiencies of the previous months, without excluding February. December and January of this year were quite mild, it did not rain much and that is the reason why we have to worry a lot more about fires this summer”, concludes Mr. Canderes.

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