First assessment of the lethal storms on Wednesday 10 July 2019 in Halkidiki

During the evening hours of Wednesday, July 10, 2019 and more specifically during the period 21: 00-00: 00, storms of particular gravity , accompanied in most areas by fierce winds and, in some cases, by large scale hail , affected regions of Central and Eastern Macedonia. The strongest phenomena were found in the prefecture of Chalkidiki , where six people lost their lives , most of whom were tourists in the area. At the same time, another fellow man is missing, while nearly 100 injured have been recorded .

The turbulence of the winds , which was the main cause of the loss of human lives , is due to the very strong winds of the violent invasion of the cold front in Northern Greece and to the very strong downward streams accompanying the storm cells .

The following map shows: the intense electrical activity was recorded by the National Disaster Detection System of the National Observatory of Athens / “ZEUS” in Northern Greece, the areas where human lives and higher wind speeds were lost to the nearest meteorological stations in the network meteorological stations of the National Observatory of Athens / . 

It is noted that the wind speeds presented are lower than the wind speeds that accompanied the storms , as the strongest phenomena occurred in a very small area where there is no coverage by a meteorological station. In addition, data from some stations such as Cassandria are not yet available due to a power cut.  

Despite the fact that summer storms and night bournies are common in the northern parts of our country, the phenomena that occurred on Wednesday are characterized as extreme as they occur with low repeatability . It is characteristic that similar phenomena hit central and northern Greece on 20-21 July 1983 , resulting in extensive disasters and the deaths of 7 people in Thessaloniki and Kavala.

It is noteworthy, however, that the extreme phenomena of Wednesday were predicted in time and with great accuracy , both in terms of the cold and hot convergence of gas masses over Northern Greece, and in the most affected areas.

In the light of the bad weather and the casualties behind it, as well as the experience we have gained from the major disasters in Mandra and Attica, it is now clear that we need to create intelligent systems to alert citizens to the emergence and development of intense / dangerous phenomena.


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