The main characteristics of the Mediterranean
climate of the city of Nicosia is the warm and dry summer which starts
from mid-May until the middle of September and the rainy but mild winter
which starts from mid-November until the middle of March. These are
separated by two transitional seasons which show in autumn during
October and spring during April.
During December, Cyprus is affected by the
frequent passage of small depressions and fronts that move in the
Mediterranean from west to east. These weather disorders usually last
from one to three days each time.
The average daily temperature in December
varies from 11.4°C at 08:00 in the morning to 20.1°C at 13:00. The
average maximum daily temperature at 08:00 in the morning for the city
of Nicosia is around 16.0°C and at 13:00 is 27.7°C. The average minimum
daily temperature at 08:00 in the morning is around 8.4°C and at 13:00
it rises to 12.7°C.
The average value of relative humidity at
08:00 in the morning, the time during which this value is the highest,
for the city of Nicosia, is around 83 to 97%, while as we approach
midday and specifically at 13:00, during which we observe the minimum
value of relative humidity, varies around 47%.
General winds are mostly mild to moderate
westerly or north westerly in the winter and northerly or north westerly
in the summer. Very strong winds in the city of Nicosia are rare.
Most rain falls occur during the period from
November to March. In spring and autumn rain is mainly local.
The total average rainfall during the months
of December, January and February, corresponds with about 60% of the
rainfall of the whole year. The total rainfall for the whole month of
December corresponds to 45,4 mm.
Snowfall is rare in the plains; the first
snowfall occurs on average in mid-December and the last occurs around
the middle of April.
Cyprus owes its nice Mediterranean climate,
even during the month of December, to the influence of the sea, with
weather conditions appearing good enough, with the average sunshine
varying around 5.5 hours per day.
Rainfall & Storms
Most rainfall occurs during the period between
November and March. In spring and autumn rainfall is usually isolated.
During summer months rainfall is negligible; with isolated rain falling
mainly on the mountain areas and the central plain usually during the
early afternoon hours.
Snowfalls are not common in the lowlands as
well as the Pentadaktylos range. But it snows frequently every winter in
areas of the Troodos Mountains region with an altitude over 1,000
meters. The first snowfall occurs usually during the first week of
December and the last during the middle of April.
Storms are rare between June and September.
They occur however on average 4 to 5 days per month from October to
January and on average 2 to 3 days per month from February to May.
Cyprus has hot dry summers and mild winters.
Nonetheless these conditions can be affected by two factors:
(a) The first factor concerns the variable
landscape characteristics of the island, in particular the altitude,
which reduces temperature by approximately 5° Celsius per 1,000 meters.
(b) The second factor involves the influence
of the surrounding sea on the island’s climate, which offers cooler
summers and relatively milder winters in seaside areas, especially on
the west coasts.
The annual range of air temperature is
considerable; it varies between 18° Celsius in the city of Nicosia
region and 14° Celsius along the coastline.
The average ground temperature in the lower
plains in a 10cm depth is approximately 10° Celsius in January and 33°
Celsius in July, while in 1m depth is 14° Celsius in January and 28°
Celsius in July. In higher mountainous areas with an altitude over 1,000
meters above sea level, these values are approximately 5° Celsius lower.
In summers, the absorption of large quantities
of solar energy during daytime and the high radiation losses during
clear sky nights, result to wide daily ground surface temperature
In July, ground surface temperature in the
plains is 15° Celsius at sunrise and up to 60° Celsius in early
At a 5cm depth the corresponding values are 24° Celsius and 42° Celsius,
while in 50cm depth, daily temperature fluctuation is insignificant.
Relative Humidity of the Air
The altitude above mean sea level and the
distance from the coast have a considerable effect on the relative
humidity values, indicative of air temperature differences from region
to region. Relative humidity can be described as average or slightly
low, ranging between 65% and 95% during winter days and all nights
throughout the year. During midday in summers relative humidity is very
low with values in the central plain usually around 30% and occasionally
as low as 15%.
Fog is not common and usually builds up during
early morning hours. In higher mountainous areas fog may last longer
during winter, especially when clouds cover mountain peaks. Visibility
is generally very good or excellent, but for a few days each spring the
atmosphere becomes very hazy because of floating dust, originating from
Arabic and African deserts.
Like all parts of Cyprus, the city of Nicosia
enjoys long periods of sunshine compared to many countries. In the lower
plains the average number of hours of bright sunshine for the whole year
is 75% of the hours the sun is above the horizon. Over the whole summer
season there is an average of 11.5 hours of sunshine per day, whilst in
winter sunshine duration is reduced to just 5.5 hours per day in the
cloudiest months of December and January.
The maximum sunshine duration (from sunrise to
sunset) in Nicosia ranges from 9.8 hours a day during December to 14.5
hours per day in June.
In the wider Eastern Mediterranean area,
especially in the Nicosia region, winds are generally light to moderate,
westerly or south-westerly in the winter, and north north-westerly in
the summer. Winds rarely reach gale force. Strong winds with speeds of
over 24 knots are short in duration and occur only in cases of severe
Winds over the island of Cyprus are variable,
and can be affected by the orography and local heating effects. Such
local winds can be coastal breezes, or rising winds in mountainous
Differences of temperature between sea and
land cause considerable sea and land breezes which can penetrate far
inland up to 35km from the coast.
Sea breezes in coastal areas and rising winds
in the mountainous regions are stronger during summer months, while
rising breezes in coastal areas causing land breeze from inland are
stronger during winter months.
Very rarely tornadoes may appear over sea or
land with a diameter approaching approximately 100 meters.