Greece and Europe are expected to experience one of the hottest summers in recent years for 2024. After 10 straight months of warmer-than-normal average temperatures, fears of an equally hot summer appear on the horizon.

According to ominous reports issued by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMRWF), the mercury over the coming three months will exceed the average value of the period 1993-2016, which was already considered very warm period.

Projected data shows an average increase of one-degree Celsius, which scientists describe as a significant rise in temperatures, while extreme scenarios predicting an increase of even up 2.5C above the climate value. However, for now such forecasts have little chance for verification.

Commenting on the current trends, Dr. Kostas Lagouvardos , the research director at the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) and coordinator of the METEO unit, explained that in Greece the average temperature in the months of July and August is 33C.

“The data from the European Center is an estimate of the temperature trend for the entire June-July-August quarter, and for Europe as a whole. Therefore, these are not accurate predictions but estimates with possible deviations; in the past, however, they have been shown to be confirmed to a large extent.”

He added that “…it’s worrying that this year all the scenarios of the ECMRWF agree over the fact that the temperature will fluctuate above normal levels. No scenario gives a negative value deviation, and this is a first time in history. Whether this increase in temperature will be expressed in heat waves or whether the values ​​will be on a constant basis, up by 1-2C above normal, we are not in a position to know,” he notes.

The concern about the high temperatures that are expected to occur this summer is intensified by the drought that has been plaguing in the country for the last few months.

“The drought is at a high level… between October 2023 to April 2024 in the eastern and southern regions of the country – including Attica and mainly in southern Crete – we had 30%-45% less rain than the average of the last decade,” Lagouvardos said.

He also reminded of very low snow cover this past winter season in the country.