Elpis, or Elpida in Greece, was a windstorm and blizzard that affected most of the Eastern Mediterranean. The storm caused blizzard conditions in northern Turkey and mountainous areas of Greece, as well as accumulating snowfall in milder locations further south, such as Athens, Antalya and Israel.

Storm Elpis
Elpis on January 25. Along with the cyclone, lake-effect snow squalls can also be seen to the north-end of the storm, in the Black and Aegean Seas
Elpis on January 25
European windstorm
Formed21 January 2022
Duration6 days
Dissipated27 January 2022
Highest gust70 mph (110 km/h), near Milos, Greece[2]
Lowest temperature−33.4 °C (−28.1 °F), Kosanica, Montenegro on January 25[1]
1, near Andros, Greece
Maximum snowfall
or ice accretion
At least 85 centimetres (2.79 ft; 33 in), near Istanbul, Turkey[3]

Meteorological history


Antecedent weather


Atmospheric conditions in the weeks leading up to Elpis were defined by a change of large-scale weather patterns: a persistent ridge formed over Western Europe and a series of dips in the jet stream occurred to its east.[4] This, in turn, caused repeated instances of polar air outbreaks into the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean.[4] Diomedes, an earlier and relatively minor storm, had already brought heavy rain and mountain snow to Greece, while causing significant sea-level snowfall in the normally colder region of northern Turkey.[5][6]

A weak low formed near Aegean Sea on 21 January, partially due to the southeastward movement of a stronger low in western Russia, associated with the synoptic structure that had been forcing polar air southwards toward Southeast Europe.[7][8] While the resulting conditions were also conducive for frontal snowfall, due to the temperature difference between the warm seas and the arriving polar air, lake-effect snow squalls were forecast to be the main contributor to snow totals.[7]

Initial frontal precipitation


As cold air continued its southerly movement, the moderately heavy rain that had started to affect Thrace and northwestern Anatolia, eventually transitioned into snow.[8] Despite this, snowfall accumulations were limited even in northern coastal regions such as Istanbul, due to above freezing temperatures. Heavy rain continued in southwestern Turkey and southeastern Greece, as rainfall amounts in excess of 70 millimetres (2.8 in), in the Dodecanese, Crete, and Antalya, were recorded.[9][10][11] The heaviest snow remained near southern Marmara, as the initial storm tracked southeast through the day, exiting western Turkey by that evening.[12]

Convective vortex over Istanbul


The abnormally cold air mass, especially in the upper atmosphere, and vertical profiles made it conducive for convection in the Black Sea off the shores of Istanbul, and subsequently enabled the formation of large bands of convective clouds, which formed into a cyclonic vortex structure on January 24, 2022. This vortex caused unprecedented rates of snowfall, high winds and blizzard conditions in the western parts of Istanbul.[13]



Storm Elpis dropped heavy snow in the western and northern parts of Turkey, Greece and Jerusalem, as well as bringing impacts to Athens and accumulating snow as far south as Antalya. The blizzard suspended intercity transport and closed Istanbul Airport.[14][15][16] Rescue operations were underway in various cities, including the capital Ankara, to rescue thousands of people trapped in the snow.[17][18] Motorists were stuck in their cars in Attiki Odos, the main ring road of Athens, for 24 hours. The Greek army was ordered to help motorists by delivering food, water, and blankets. Around 3500 people were saved from the ring road but 1200 cars remained stuck due to freezing conditions.[19] Fifteen passengers were injured when operators tried to pull a train stuck in the snow and carrying about 200 passengers.[20][21] The Hellenic National Meteorological Service reported that a landspout occurred on Andros due to the storm.[22] Due to the instability of the cold air passing through warm waters above the Aegean Sea, the weather front also caused thundersnows in the regions of Euboea and Attica and a snowspout in Andros.[23][24][25][26] In addition, very low temperatures were recorded in Greece; the lowest was recorded in Lefkochori, Phthiotis at −18.1 °C (−0.6 °F).[27] Further north, Montenegro set a national low temperature record of −33.4 °C (−28.1 °F).[1]

Elpis went as far as Israel by starting with heavy rain in the North and coastal areas.[28][29] Snow fell throughout the day in Mount Hermon, northern Golan Heights and in the mountains of northern and central Israel, including in Safed and Jerusalem in the early hours of January 27, 2022.[30] Three people died in Israel from carbon monoxide poisoning.[31]

See also



  1. ^ a b A historic Siberian winter in Balkan! Montenegro with an all-time national record, Kosanica, -33,4°C!, MK Weather, January 25, 2022
  2. ^ "Relevés météo archivés du mardi 25 janvier 2022 à Milos - Grèce | archived weather records in Milos - Infoclimat". www.infoclimat.fr.
  3. ^ "İstanbul'da bazı ilçelerde kar kalınlığı 85 santimetreyi buldu". www.birgun.net.
  4. ^ a b Petrou, Alec Moustris, John. "meteo.gr: Διαδοχικές ψυχρές εισβολές στη χώρα μας λόγω του κυματισμού της ατμοσφαιρικής κυκλοφορίας στο Βόρειο ημισφαίριο". meteo.gr - Προγνώσεις καιρού για όλη την Ελλάδα (in Greek). Retrieved 2022-02-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ ""Diomedes" Weather System Brings Snow, Heavy Rain to Greece". GreekReporter.com. 2022-01-12. Retrieved 2022-02-01.
  6. ^ "Relevés météo archivés du jeudi 13 janvier 2022 à Inebolu - Turquie | archived weather records in Inebolu - Infoclimat". www.infoclimat.fr. Retrieved 2022-02-01.
  7. ^ a b Petrou, Alec Moustris, John. "meteo.gr: Πυκνές χιονοπτώσεις και χιονοκαταιγίδες θα προκαλέσει η κακοκαιρία Ελπίς τη Δευτέρα 24/01". meteo.gr - Προγνώσεις καιρού για όλη την Ελλάδα (in Greek). Retrieved 2022-02-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ a b Petrou, Alec Moustris, John. "meteo.gr: Η έντονη ταλάντωση του αεροχειμάρρου πάνω από την Ευρώπη θα συμβάλει στην μεταφορά πολικών αερίων μαζών προς τη χώρα μας". meteo.gr - Προγνώσεις καιρού για όλη την Ελλάδα (in Greek). Retrieved 2022-02-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Petrou, Alec Moustris, John. "meteo.gr: Η εξέλιξη της κακοκαιρίας "Ελπίς" τις επόμενες ώρες". meteo.gr - Προγνώσεις καιρού για όλη την Ελλάδα (in Greek). Retrieved 2022-02-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "Relevés météo archivés du samedi 22 janvier 2022 à Istanbul / Ataturk - Turquie | archived weather records in Istanbul / Ataturk - Infoclimat". www.infoclimat.fr. Retrieved 2022-02-01.
  11. ^ "Relevés météo archivés du samedi 22 janvier 2022 à ALANYA - Turquie | archived weather records in ALANYA - Infoclimat". www.infoclimat.fr. Retrieved 2022-02-01.
  12. ^ Petrou, Alec Moustris, John. "meteo.gr: Η εξέλιξη της κακοκαιρίας "Ελπίς" το Σάββατο 22/01". meteo.gr - Προγνώσεις καιρού για όλη την Ελλάδα (in Greek). Retrieved 2022-02-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ Tanyeri, Mehmet Can. "24 Ocak 2022 Kar Siklonu – İstanbul'daki Yoğun Kar Yağışı İncelemesi – Havaturka Akademi" (in Turkish). Retrieved 2022-02-05.
  14. ^ "Blizzard causes Istanbul roof collapse". BBC News.
  15. ^ "Heavy snowfall in Turkey forces Istanbul Airport to shut". Al Jazeera.
  16. ^ Kitsantonis, Niki (January 25, 2022). "Heavy Snow Strands Motorists in Greece and Turkey". NY Times.
  17. ^ "Winter welcome: Stranded drivers freed in Istanbul, Athens". ABC News.
  18. ^ Farooq, Umar. "Heavy snowfall cripples life in Istanbul". Al Jazeera.
  19. ^ Kitsantonis, Niki (25 January 2022). "Heavy Snow Strands Motorists in Greece". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  20. ^ "Greece Snowstorm: Thousands of drivers left stranded as storm hits Athens". BBC. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  21. ^ "Thousands evacuated from Athens motorway as snowstorm hits Greece". Reuters. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  22. ^ meteo.gr [@meteogr] (January 24, 2022). "Η κίνηση του υδροσίφωνα στις Στενιές Άνδρου όπως καταγράφηκε από κάμερα καιρού! #κακοκαιρια #ελπις (The movement of the water spout in Stenies Andros as recorded by a weather camera! #κακοκαιρια #ελπις)" (Tweet) (in Greek). Retrieved January 24, 2022 – via Twitter.
  23. ^ "Wild storm in Greece brings thundersnow to Athens, 'snownado' to Greek island". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  24. ^ "Wild storm in Greece brings thundersnow to Athens". msn. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  25. ^ "Snow blankets Greece and Turkey as wild weather system creates rare 'snownado'". CNN. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  26. ^ "Storm Elpida : rare snownado sweeps across Greece and Turkey". Express. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  27. ^ "oi xamiloteres thermokrasies tis kakokairias Elpida(in greek)". in. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  28. ^ "Winter storm Elpis set to bring snow to Jerusalem". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  29. ^ "Winter Storm Elpis Heads to Israel, After Battering Greece, Turkey". Haaretz. Haaretz.com.
  30. ^ "Storm Elpis: Snow falls in Jerusalem, schools open despite strike". MSN.com.
  31. ^ "Amid winter storm Elpis, 9 kids suffer CO poisoning from coal burnt to heat homes". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 28 January 2022.