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Severe heat health alerts issued for Athens and other Greek cities

According to the National Observatory of Athens weather unit Meteo, the Greek capital, Athens, as well as the cities of Thessaloniki and Larissa, are expected to experience extremely high temperatures in the coming days, posing potential health risks.

On Thursday, a level 3 heat-health alert is anticipated for Athens, followed by level 3 alerts in Athens, Thessaloniki, and Larissa on Friday. Thessaloniki and Larissa will also have level 2 alerts on Thursday, while the port city of Patras will have a level 1 heat alert on Thursday and a level 2 alert on Friday. Additionally, a level 1 heatwave alert is forecasted for Ioannina on Friday.

The increased heat and dry conditions will significantly elevate the risk of fires, as the flammability of dead organic matter in forests intensifies.

The Meteo unit, in collaboration with the Atlantic Council’s Arsht-Rock Resilience Center, is actively involved in categorizing high-temperature days for six major Greek cities: Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa, Ioannina, Patras, and Iraklion. This categorization is based on an algorithm that predicts the impact of high-temperature days on the residents’ health, taking into account factors like humidity and wind, which influence heat perception.

The categorisation consists of four levels, ranging from 0, representing high temperatures and posing risks to vulnerable individuals, to 3, indicating extreme temperatures and a significant health hazard that demands maximum precautions.