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Annual Cyprus Snow and Rainfall Information

Though you may not expect it on a sunny island like Cyprus, snow is a regular feature in the Troodos Mountains each Winter, as the lower reaches experience their annual rainy season.

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In the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus, snow is common each Winter

 
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Information about Cyprus

In Cyprus, snow and rainfall happen mainly between November and March. During this time the coastal plains enjoy regular drenchings, while the Troodos Mountains are covered in snow and ice for about three months.

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In Cyprus, snow turns the Troodos into a Winter Wonderland from December to February

In fact, so regular has the snowfall been each year, that way back in 1947 the Cyprus skiing club was formed by a few intrepid chaps from the British military, who had to hike to the slopes of Mount Olympus because the general lack of snow-clearing equipment on the island left the roads to the summit blocked.

Snow on the Slopes of Mount Olympus

But times have changed over the last sixty years, and today the Mount Olympus Ski Resort, as it's now known, has become a regular destination for Winter Sports fanatics from around Europe.

With four pistes and a bespoke cross-country track it's grown too since the early years. And, what's more, these days there are snow-ploughs and ski-lifts too, so you no longer have to hike uphill for miles before being able to hurl yourself back down the mountainside.

 

More Information about the annual Rainfall in Cyprus and a couple of other Weather Quirks

In Cyprus, when it rains, it rains. And the vast bulk of the stuff falls in January and February. So if you're planning to visit the island during these months, be sure to bring an umbrella, unless you've come to enjoy all the snow in the Troodos Mountains that is. Having said that, even the wettest month of the year only averages eight rainy days.

Oroklini's Dekheleia Road is flooded during a heavy rain storm in January 2009

Of course, some years are dryer than others, and during the 2007/2008 Winter Cyprus hardly saw any rainfall at all, most of the dams dried up, and water rationing was introduced.

By contrast, the 2009/2010 Winter has been a very wet one, and water rationing is thankfully no longer a feature of life in Cyprus.

But Cyprus Winters aren't all about rain, we see some great thunder storms and tornados too.

A Ski Resort on a Mediterranean Island? Do they get enough Snow?

Ok, so if you're imagining anything like you'd find in Switzerland, Austria or the French Alps, you may be just a little disappointed. The Troodos Mountains are certainly not the Alps, and in Cyprus, snow, though a regular enough feature, isn't as heavy as further north. We are a Mediterranean island after all.

Nevertheless, the Mount Olympus Ski Resort has everything you need to enjoy a great day's skiing, and since 2003, they even have their own snow-making machinery, for those years when nature just doesn't want to play along.

  Snow in Cyprus, on the Slopes of the Troodos Mountains

Plenty of accommodation for skiing enthusiasts can be found in the hotels of Platres, a charming little resort a little downhill from the pistes, and equipment and instruction are available onsite. There are four ski-lifts, open from 9AM to 4PM, normally between early December to the end of February. If you'd like a little more information, visit the Cyprus Ski Federation Website.

Cyprus gets some great Thunder Storms, and the occasional Tornado too

Tornado on the Oroklini Water Front back in 2009  

In Cyprus, rainfall is quite often accompanied by thunder and lightning, and frequently the light shows can get pretty spectacular. This holds especially true when storms roll in from the sea in the evening and the horizon is illuminated almost constantly by lightning.

From the start of the rainy season at the beginning of December until the end of March thunder storms are at their most common on the island, very occasionally bringing with them some heavy hail too.

And then of course there are the Tornados... What do you mean nobody told you about those?

Ok, so Cyprus isn't exactly tornado-alley, and though we frequently get little whirl-winds, dust-devils and waterspouts, what you'd call a proper tornado is actually quite a rare occurrence. Statistically speaking, the island sees one about every three years, and since moving to the island in 2005 I've heard tell of one, and witnessed another. Back in January 2009 I actually managed to photograph one, as it passed about a mile from my front-door on the Oroklini seafront.

According to the local Met Office, they tend to happen between January and April, and the average size of one of these things is about a hundred yards across at the base. This makes them plenty big enough to cause quite a bit of damage. So when you take out home insurance it might be an idea to check you're adequately covered against storm damage, though there really is practically no risk of being hit at all. Still, better safe than sorry, eh?

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Disclaimer. Please note that the information given on this website is displayed for guidance purposes only. It does not replace the need for professional advice, either legal or otherwise. E&OE

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