There were a total of 107 vortices (whirlwinds and waterspouts) in Greece during 2018, three of which caused significant damage in Halkidiki and Crete, the National Observatory of Athens weather service meteo revealed on Friday.
Meteo reported eight whirlwinds (a vortex on the land) and 99 waterspouts (a vortex over a body of water) during the year. By comparison, there were a total of 145 vortices in Greece in 2017 but only 84 in 2016. According to meteo, both the total number of vortices and the number of strong whirlwinds capable of causing damage were near the average for the last decade in Greece.
The weather service also noted that the total number was probably underestimated, due to their short duration and the fact that reports by the public, through smart phones and social media, and weather monitoring cameras were the only sources of information on the phenomenon. The weather services said that 63 pct of reports in 2017 and 52 pct in 2018 came from Facebook and Twitter users.
It also noted that very rarely and in unusual weather conditions, it is possible for large numbers of waterspouts to form in a short space of time, as happened in Corfu on January 21, 2018 when 32 were reported in a space of two hours.