What if the calendar shows we’re still in early May? Thousands of Greeks took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather of this Orthodox Easter weekend and rushed to their nearby beaches to enjoy a spring swim.
The country has been experiencing some of its highest April and May temperatures of the last decade since last week, with people rushing to beaches to enjoy the unseasonably hot weather, despite the coronavirus restrictions.
On Holy Thursday, European meteorologists recorded the hottest night ever to be recorded in Europe for April. The station of Falasarna near the city of Chania on the Greek Island of Crete didn’t drop below 30.7°C (87.3°F).
”This is a very hot night at any point in the year, but truly absurd for April,” Scottish meteorologist Scott Duncan noted in a tweet.
We just observed the hottest April night in European history.
The station of Falasarna (near Chania) on the Greek Island of Crete 🇬🇷 didn’t drop below 30.7°C (87.3°F) last night. This is a very hot night at any point in the year, but truly absurd for April.
h/t @extremetemps pic.twitter.com/qaOkBEJBUe
— Scott Duncan (@ScottDuncanWX) April 29, 2021
Crete is of course one of the hottest regions of the entire country, as its proximity to the African continent makes it an easy ”target” of almost every heat wave that comes from the northern part of the continent towards Europe.
However, so warm temperatures, especially prevailing even at midnight, is something very unusual even for heat-prone Crete. Temperatures above thirty degrees Celcius are normally the highest temperature on a warm day for Crete, not the minimum!
Thus, hundreds, if not thousands, of people from Crete and the rest of Greece rushed to the nearby seaside resorts to enjoy the sunshine and the pleasantly high temperatures of the week.
The Athens area saw thousands of people going to the beach. The southern seaside Attica suburbs of Alimos, Vouliagmeni, Glyfada were the destination where Athenians went to enjoy the early summer of this Orthodox Easter.
The warm weather of Orthodox Easter in 2021
In many parts of the country, the highest temperature exceeded 35 degrees on the Celsius scale (95°F.) on Good Friday and Holy Saturday alike.
Particularly in Athens, on Friday and Saturday, temperatures hit 30-32 degrees, while in Patras they ranged from 32 to 36 degrees Celsius and in Heraklion, Crete, they exceeded 35 degrees Celcius!
The wind reached 5-6 on the Beaufort scale, while dust and sand from Africa affected many parts of Greece earlier this week.
The last month of the spring, May, is usually a warm month in Athens with average temperatures fluctuating between 23.8°C (74.8°F) and 16.4°C (61.5°F).
In the Greek capital, the average high-temperature marginally rises, from a comfortable 19.2°C (66.6°F) in April, to a warm 23.8°C (74.8°F). The average low temperature is 16.4°C (61.5°F).
In May, the average seawater temperature is 18.5°C (65.3°F). Swimming in that temperature is not enjoyable for the majority. Controlling breathing becomes progressively more difficult as surface water temperature decreases below 21°C (69.8°F).