Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Weather and Climate

The country of Greece lies within the Mediterranean area of Europe and experiences split climate conditions depending on what part of the country you reside. The Eastern side of Greece has a drier climate in contrast to the wet climate of the northern and western portions. The Northern division of Athens, Greece has a K√∂eppen climate classification of Csa, while Southern Athens has a classification of BSh. This indicates that northern Athens experiences mild winters, hot summers,  a dry summer season while southern Athens experiences a dry, hot steppe.
Koeppen Classification Codes

Koeppen Climate Map

The weather of Athens is also significantly influenced by the topography of the area because Athens is located in the rain shadow of Mount Parnitha. The wet cool air begins the rise and precipitate on the windward side of the mountain leaving only dry air to move over the leeward side of the mountain creating a much drier climate than the rest of the area.

Illustration of Rain Shadow Effect
View of Mount Parnitha

Overall Greece can be split into two main seasons: the cold and rainy period lasting from October till March, and the dry hot season from April until September.  Greece's Mediterranean climate is caused by the subtropical air mass that moves in a northern direction away from the equator during the summer months, and back towards the equator during the winter months. During the summer when the subtropical air drifts away from the equator it creates a high pressure belt that results in hot, dry weather that contrast the the low pressure depressions that creates mild winters with precipitation as rain or snow.

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