Tag: stormclouds (page 1 of 2)

Rain or shine, Andros amazes

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stormclouds over Batsi resort area of Andros

The Andros beach resort area of Batsi looks beautiful even while menacing stormclouds pass overhead.  During our six-day visit to the island last month, we experienced some cloudy skies and a few brief periods of rain … but that didn’t keep us from enjoying the island’s spectacular mountain, coastal and village scenery. Even during inclement weather Andros looked amazing. Frankly, we would rather be on Andros in the rain …

 

downtown Toronto view on June 14 2015

 … than be here in Toronto where sunshine has been sparse and where our balcony views have been mainly of fog-shrouded highrise towers, intermittent light rainfalls, and heavy downpours since we got home June 11.

 

Although nobody can do anything about the weather, most people dread cloudy skies, rain and thunderstorms during their vacations. While I personally prefer a mix of sun and cloud, I would rather be somewhere in Greece on an overcast or wet day instead of being at home in Toronto in similarly bleak weather conditions.

Since we returned from Greece last Thursday night (June 11), we have seen sunshine only briefly.  The sky has been overcast with dark clouds or thick with fog most of the time, there have been intermittent light showers, and we have experienced several thunderstorms with heavy downpours.  It has been disappointing and depressing to see the bleak, grey skies and fog-shrouded city skyline whenever we glance out our windows or go on our balcony.

We didn’t feel that way the few times it turned cloudy or rained while we were on Andros in May. Periods of daytime stormclouds didn’t detract from our walks and hikes, while occasional evening rain didn’t stop us from strolling into Andros Town for drinks and dinner. Rain or shine, Andros looked lovely, and kept us amazed and amused.

Below are some photos we shot during cloudy periods on Andros … I think you’ll agree the island looks pretty even under cloudy skies.

 stormclouds over Andros Tiown on island

Stormclouds start to fill the morning sky over hills behind Andros Town

 

 dark clouds above Andros Town

Stormclouds advance above Nemborios beach on the north side of Andros Town. They sprinkled light rain a few times during daylight hours, then produced occasional light showers in the evening and late at night.

 

stormclouds above a street in Andros Town

Winds picked up and the late afternoon sky darkened while we were exploring the streets of Andros Town, but we got back to our accommodations long before evening showers started. It rained lightly off and on over the course of the evening, and overnight.

 

rain clouds pass over hillside settlements near Andros Town

Rain clouds approach hillside settlements near Andros Town

 

morning view from our balcony at Aneroussa Beach Hotel

In this view from our terrace at the Aneroussa Beach Hotel near Batsi, stormclouds swirl overhead shortly before a series of brief but heavy downpours soaked the island at breakfast time.

 

 clouds above the road to Batsi

During our walk from the Aneroussa Beach Hotel to Batsi after the breakfast rain showers, we looked back to see more dark clouds looming overhead …

 

stormclouds above Batsi

… while straight ahead, the cloud cover extended along the island’s entire coast to the north

 

stormclouds above the Batsi  resort area of Andros

When we turned the next corner on the road, the sky above Batsi looked far more threatening

 

stormclouds above the Batsi resort area of Andros

Sunshine briefly illuminates rental rooms and studio apartments on a hill on the south side of Batsi

 

stormclouds above Batsi

The weather was beginning to look grim as we reached the halfway mark on our walk to Batsi

 

stormclouds over Batsi

Sunshine briefly breaks through the thick clouds as we approach the edge of the commercial waterfront strip in Batsi

 

stormclouds over Batsi

Stormclouds sweep above the hills to the immediate northeast of Batsi

 

stormclouds over the coast near Batsi

Every now and then sunshine broke through the clouds to illuminate the mountains north of Batsi

 

stormclouds over Batsi on Andros

We enjoyed some sunshine at the northern end of the beach at Batsi

 

stormclouds advancing over Batsi on Andros

View from a hill on the north side of Batsi

 

stormclouds approaching Batsi on Andros

Although we experienced repeated but brief interludes of sunshine, the breeze turned into a cool wind so we headed back to Batsi, where we reached a sheltered bar terrace on the waterfront just as the clouds opened up and began dropping light rain. The showers stopped within half an hour but the dark clouds hung around several more hours.

 

sunset view from Aneroussa beach hotel

By evening the clouds were moving away from Andros, and we got to watch an impressive sunset from our terrace at the Aneroussa Beach Hotel

More weather woes as wind & waves thrash the Greek Islands

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Portara monument Naxos

The ancient Temple of Apollo monument on Naxos is barely visible as winds carry sea spray up and over the Palatia peninsula. This amazing shot was one of three photos shared on Facebook by Manolis Lykouropoulos.

 

Wild winter: While it was the ongoing economic turbulence and political bluster in Greece that made headlines around the world this week, surprisingly severe winter weather conditions in many parts of the country were just as wild, crazy and unpredictable.

For several days, and especially on February 10 and 11, Mother Nature thrashed many of the Aegean islands and parts of mainland Greece with an unusually vicious torrent of wind, waves, rain, sleet, snow and cold temperatures.

The latest barrage of bad weather came slightly more than a month after a similarly brutal storm system brought icy temperatures, freezing rain and heavy snowfalls to many of the Greek Islands in early January (see my posts Wild winter weather wallops Greece and Snow scenes from the Cyclades to view photos and videos that were shared on social media during and after that storm).

 

Acropolis and Odeon of Herodotus Atticus in Athens

Snow falls on the Parthenon (top) while two pedestrians walk past the Odeon of Herodes Atticus next to the Acropolis in Athens. Flowmagazine posted this photo on its Facebook page February 11.

 

 

 

This week’s weather disturbances dusted Athens and surrounding areas with light snow, while various islands including Skiathos, Samos, Karpathos, Crete, Naxos and Tinos experienced either light flurries or significant snowfalls in some regions, particularly in mountainous areas. Freezing rain accompanied chilly temperatures in many places.

But it was relentless gale-strength winds that wreaked the most havoc, flooding popular waterfront tourist areas on Crete, Samos, Mykonos and Naxos.

Gusts registering force 10 and higher on the Beaufort wind scale raged across the Aegean, pushing powerful waves against coastlines, ports and harbours. Particularly hard-hit were the Chania harbourfront on Crete, the Little Venice seafront of Mykonos Town, the Naxos village of Apollonas, and the Long Beach area of Kokkari village on Samos, where seawater surged ashore, flooding streets, shops and restaurants and leaving muddy debris — and even the bodies of drowned animals — in its wake. The winds and water also caused extensive damage to the port of Evdilos on Ikaria.

Chania Crete floodwater damage

Waves and water damage at the Chania waterfront on Crete are shown in these photos posted to Facebook by βαγγέλης διαμαντακης 

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading page 2 of this post, which includes more news, photos and videos of storm activity and damage on several islands.

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Greek islands take spring weather woes in stride

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Stormclouds at Mykonos

Dark stormclouds hover overhead as rain falls on Mykonos and nearby islands. I shot this photo from the swimming pool deck at Hotel Tagoo on the morning of May 18 2012. Many Greek islands and parts of mainland Greece have been experiencing similar stormy weather conditions this week.

 

Be prepared: If you’re planning to travel to Greece in May or early June next year, be sure to pack an umbrella or waterproof windbreaker in your suitcase — there’s a good chance you might need to use them for a day or two.

Occasional bad weather used to be something you could expect to encounter in early spring — especially while travelling during April or the first two weeks of May in the Cyclades, Dodecanese, East Aegean and Sporades island groups. But once the middle of May had passed, rainstorms and completely overcast skies would be rare — visitors typically could expect one day after another of warm, dry and mainly sunny weather until the fall.

Climate patterns seem to have changed in recent years, however, and travellers have been encountering sporadic stormy conditions later in May and into early June too, as bad weather across much of Greece this week has shown.

 We didn’t need rainwear or umbrellas until 2010

On our trips to Athens and various Greek islands between 2004 and 2009, we didn’t encounter any major rainstorms or other inclement weather bad enough to put a damper on a day of sightseeing, hiking or beach activities. We would pack travel umbrellas in our suitcases, but never have to take them out. In fact, we recall only three instances of rain — all in early May 2006, the time of month when unsettled weather still could be expected.

That year, there was some overnight rain on May 11 and 12 while we were visiting Mykonos, but the clouds cleared by the time we got up for breakfast. One week later (on May 18) we were at Maragas beach on Naxos when a late afternoon thunderstorm suddenly blew in from the west. Rain began to sprinkle so we hurried over to the Gorgona Taverna at Agia Anna beach, where we had an early dinner while waiting for the precipitation to stop. Within 90 minutes the sun came back out and gave us a beautiful sunset that evening.

 Stormclouds over Naxos

After the storm: Thunderclouds begin to break up over Paros island  (top) and Naxos following a late afternoon downpour on May 18 2006. We shot this photo from Agia Anna beach on Naxos.

 

Of course, the weather wasn’t perfect the rest of the time during our first five Greek holidays. We did encounter a few days when it was extremely cloudy, like on June 8 2005, when we arrived at Santorini to find the island shrouded in thick, low-hanging clouds that obscured sunset views and lingered into the next morning before dissipating. We also experienced several exceptionally windy days, as well as some very chilly mornings and nights that forced us to wear sweaters and jackets to keep warm. But there wasn’t any horribly bad weather, and the adverse conditions didn’t stop us from fully enjoying the islands.

 Santorini caldera clouds

When we arrived at Santorini on June 8 2005, the island was surrounded by thick clouds that obscured caldera and sunset views that evening. There was no rain, but the clouds hung around until morning. We shot this photo from our terrace at the Phenix Hotel in Imerovigli during a brief break in the clouds.

  Please click the number 2 in the link below to continue reading this report.

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Top 6 memories of my Mykonos holiday in 2012 — #5: An unusual mix of wacky, weird weather

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Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos

Agios Ioannis beach and bay basked in brilliant sunshine on May 20 …

 

stormclouds above Rinia

… just two days after a massive thunderstorm system moved across the Aegean, soaking Mykonos with heavy morning downpours

 

Sunshine & storms, wind & waves: I arrived on Mykonos in warm, brilliant sunshine on May 14 … and that’s exactly what the weather was like when I left the island eight days later. But during the days in between, there was an incredible variety of weather conditions unlike anything I’ve experienced on Mykonos before.

On my seven previous visits to Mykonos, the weather had been predominantly sunny and warm. Some days were windy, some mornings and evenings were downright chilly, the sky was hazy on a few afternoons, and there were two brief rainshowers between dawn and breakfast time on two separate mornings back in May 2006. Overall, there was excellent weather for sightseeing, hiking and beach activities during each of my holidays. This year, Mother Nature made sure I experienced Mykonos in just about every kind of spring weather condition imaginable.

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