‘Raphael’ and “Sophia”to strike Greece on New Year’s Eve, mid-week

The year 2019 will get off to a cold and wet start in Greece, according to weather forecasts issued on Sunday by the National Observatory of Athens weather service meteo, which predicted successive waves of bad weather affecting most parts of the country on New Year’s Eve and later in the coming week.

The low pressure front ‘Raphael’ starting in the southern Ionian Sea and moving eastward is expected to bring intense rainfall and storms to most parts of the country leading up to New Year’s Day, except in Eastern Macedonia, Thrace and the northeastern Aegean islands. Snowfall, at times heavy, is forecast at higher altitudes throughout the country and at progressively lower altitudes moving north and northwest to Epirus.

Very strong northeasterly winds ranging from 6-8 Beaufort are forecast at sea, while temperatures will drop sharply in central and northern Greece.

The bad weather will continue on Tuesday, affecting the eastern and southern mainland, including Attica, and the islands of the Aegean. The weather in western and northern Greece will progressively improve but thick snow remains a possibility on higher ground, including the mountains around Attica, and at lower altitudes in Thessaly and central Greece.

Winds will continue to blow from northerly and northeasterly directions, reaching up to 9 Beaufort in the Aegean and 7 Beaufort in the Ionian Sea, while temperatures will move lower throughout the country.

A temporary lull in the bad weather is forecast on Wednesday, with winds falling off and temperatures rising slightly, but a new wave of bad weather dubbed “Sophia” is expected from Thursday as freezing air from the Arctic sweeps across Greece from the north, bringing severe cold and snow.