Essay

Does It Snow in Greece? See When and How Much

Greek winters usually last from November to April, though there are variations depending on the season. Does Greece get snow? Yes, snowfall occurs in Greece, but it often only reaches trace levels. Learn about the typical snowfall in Greece, its effects on the country’s wildlife, birds, and other winter weather conditions by continuing to read. You’ll also discover where snowfall is most likely to occur.

When Is the Greek Winter Season?

Greece experiences moderate, rainy winters from November to April, although the country benefits from a Mediterranean environment all year round. The winter’s wet season starts to loosen its hold by April as the temperature starts to warm.

In Southern Greece, the average monthly precipitation varies from 10 to 12 inches (25.4 to 30.48 cm) in December, January, February, and March to eight in April. Throughout the winter, Northern Greece experiences higher monthly averages of 10.7 to 12.5 inches (27.178 to 31.75 cm), with a slowdown beginning in June.

The amount of snowfall Greece experiences is mostly determined by the rainy season. Snow is most likely to fall in Northern Greece and in mountain towns and cities where the weather is colder due to the extreme moisture. Nevertheless, less than an inch of snow falls on average during the winter months in the second-largest city in Greece, according to Weather Spark.

Rainfall, not snow, is the main emphasis of most historical meteorological data. It is challenging to determine how much snow falls in smaller, more isolated places because major cities receive the most coverage.

How Cold Does Greece Get in the Winter?

The average high and low temperatures in the northern and southern regions demonstrate why snowfall is more common in the northern part of Greece.

Thessaloniki, the second-biggest city in Greece, is a northern port on the Aegean Sea. Greece’s main city, Athens, is situated between the Saronic and Petalioi Gulfs on the southernmost point of the country.

In both cities, January and February are the coldest months. In January and February, Athens experiences average daily lows of 41.26º F (5.2º C) and 41.72º F (5.4º C), respectively. In those months, average high temperatures of 54.5oF (12.5oC) and 56.3oF (13.5oC) are usual.

It’s considerably colder in Thessaloniki. The average low temperature for January and February is 34.34º F (1.3º C) and 35.96º F (2.2º C). 48.74oF (9.3oC) and 51.62oF (10.9oC) are the average daily highs, respectively.

What Is the Biggest Snowfall in Greece?

Storm Elpis made landfall on January 21, 2022, following the formation of a low over the Aegean Sea and its combination with a low over Russia. The temperature dropped enough as arctic air plunged further south than typical to for lake-effect snow to form in the area despite the heavy rain.

Although there was a lot of snow in the northern parts of Greece, Athens was unprepared as snowfall is rare there. The Attiki Odos, a major road in Athens, became impassable for thousands of automobiles, prompting the Greek Army to attempt providing food, water, and blankets. People spent an entire day stuck in their cars. Storm Elpis dumped a total of 7.87 inches (20 cm) of snow on Athens.

However, much more rain fell on Athens in 2008 due to a stronger storm. That storm was the third greatest snowstorm in Athens history, leaving behind 9.8 inches (25 centimeters). Athens was covered with 59 inches (150 centimeters) of snow in February 1911, the greatest storm in Greece’s weather records.

This snowstorm had little to no effect on the fauna. Seagulls took advantage of the increased surf caused by Storm Elpis’s gusts to scavenge fish that were washed ashore. Since there hasn’t been much severe snowfall in Greece and historical records are, at best, sporadic, people’s lives were more disturbed than those of animals.