Climate of Greece
The climate in Greece is predominantly Mediterranean. However, due to the country's unique geography, Greece has a remarkable range of micro-climates and local variations. To the west of the Pindus mountain range, the climate is generally wetter and has some maritime features. The east of the Pindus mountain range is generally drier and windier in summer. The highest peak is Mount Olympus, 2,918 metres (9,573 ft). The north areas of Greece have a transitional climate between the continental and the Mediterranean climate. There are mountainous areas that have an alpine climate.
The climate of Greece can be divided into the following Mediterranean climate subtypes:
Mediterranean (dry and wet)
This climate occurs in the Aegean Islands, especially the Cyclades and the Dodecanese, southern and Evia, low-lying areas of Attica, the western, eastern and southern low-lying Peloponnese areas, and the low-lying areas of Crete. During the summer, the weather is most frequently sunny and dry, and any precipitation falls in the form of showers or thunderstorms from cumuliform clouds. The air is usually hot during the day and pleasantly warm at night, but there are some very windy days, especially in the Cyclades islands and around them. Heatwaves may occur, but they are usually quite mild at the coastal areas, where temperatures are moderated by the relatively cooler sea and the sea breeze. Winters are wet and any snow that falls does not last long, especially in the south-facing slopes. Rain in winter is often persistent: The west areas of this climate zone receive a relatively higher amount of precipitation.
Transitional continental- Mediterranean
This climate has characteristics of both continental and Mediterranean climate.
Semi-arid climate (hot and cold)
This climate is found in areas of Macedonia and Thessaly (cold semi-arid) while areas of Attica such as the Athens Riviera and some islands mainly in the Cyclades have a hot semi-arid climate.
- Abs. minimum temperature: −27.8 °C (−18.0 °F), Ptolemaida.
- Abs. maximum temperature: 48.0 °C (118.4 °F), Elefsina and Tatoi.
Τhe 48.0 °C (118.4 °F) recorded by minimum/maximum thermometers in Tatoi and Elefsina as reported by a communication of Dr. Athanasios D. Sarantopoulos is also the WMO record high temperature for Greece and Europe. Mean annual temperatures in Greece range from +10 to +21.8 °C (50.0 to 71.2 °F) in Lindos. However, since Greece is generally a mountainous country, real average temperatures vary considerably from region to region.
Probably the most well known local winds in Greece are the etesians (also known as meltemia). With their name notating their annual fluctuation (έτος (étos) means year in Greek), these winds may blow from May to October, with their highest frequency being recorded in July and August. They keep temperatures and diurnal temperature fluctuations in the Aegean sea lower than the respective ones found in the Ionian sea or mainland Greece.