The greater Athens-Piraeus area, and much of southern Greece remained under a “blanket” of North African dust blown across the Mediterranean by southerly winds over the past few days, a situation exacerbated by unseasonably warm weather.

Video footage and photos of the Greek capital were telling and alarming on Monday, as visibility was affected, reminding older residents of 1970s and early 1980s-era smog, when air pollution was at its worst over the urban agglomeration.

The hazy conditions generated warnings by public health officials, especially respiratory specialists, for at-risk groups and individuals to avoid excessive exposure outdoors and use masks, while several meteorologists cited climate risks.

According to the National Observatory of Athens’ system, 227 weather stations around the country recorded high temperatures exceeding 25C on Monday, with the highest temperature, 31C, recorded in the south-central mainland city of Livadia.