NICOSIA, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus's meteorological service issued heat wave warning number 42 on Sunday, marking the highest ever number of warnings in any year so far.
A yellow warning is issued each time the weather service expects a temperature higher than 40 degrees Celsius or even a bit lower but with a high percentage of moisture.
Such weather warnings have been issued since the start of June, meaning that more than half of the summer days so far were marked by temperatures higher than the median average for the season, which is between 37 and 38 degrees Celsius.
Published data showed that temperatures went up to 42 degrees in some cases.
The warnings are intended to give notice to employers to take protection measures for people working in the open, or to warn self-employed people and those belonging to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and infant, to avoid being exposed to high heat conditions, usually between midday and 5 p.m.
It is not unusual for Cyprus to record temperatures of 40 to 42 degrees Celsius in the summer, but what is an all-time-first this year is the large number of summer days with temperatures above seasonal average.
Yellow warnings were issued almost for every day in the past week, with a break only on Tuesday.
The highest ever temperature recorded in the eastern Mediterranean island was about eight degrees above the median average, on Aug. 2, 2010 when the thermometer climbed to 45.6 degrees Celsius.
The second ever highest temperature of 44.4 degrees was recorded on Aug. 8, 1956.
Though Cyprus is in the high heat zone of the Mediterranean, it was spared the heat wave which hit central and northern European countries in July, which caused the death of several people.
For most of the duration of the heat wave, temperatures in Cyprus were mostly between 38 and 40 degrees Celsius.
The Meteorological Service said it expected a change in temperatures on Tuesday.
Cooler weather sets in usually after Aug. 15, with an occasional spike up to the end of the month.
However, the Meteorological Service has long given notice to people to brace for higher summer temperatures or longer periods of high heat, as a result of the global climatic change.