The climate of the Aegean is characterized as Mediterranean. The basic characteristics of the Mediterranean climate is the winter rainfalls, the summer draught, the relatively large variation in the annual amount of rainfalls, the mild to hot summer (with intense sunlight) and the cold winter. The cold and rainy period of the winter lasts from November to March, while the hot and dry period of the summer is from June to August. The transitional months in the climate April to May and September to October show great differences in the weather conditions every year. An important element for the insular climate of the Aegean is the sea, which modulates the humidity levels, determines the winds and acts as a regulatory factor moderating the temperature fluctuations.

The winds

The winds of the Aegean, appearing around the end of May until around the end of October, come from the North and are called “etisies (yearly) or meltemia”. In July and August they have the biggest intensity and an average duration of about two to four days, without showing the same frequency every year. These winds usually blow during the day, from 8.00 to 20.00 o’clock and they have their greatest intensity at 14.00 o’clock. The variation in intensity is their characteristic. They fade out quickly after sunset and return at dawn. In North Aegean they originate Northeast, in the Central Aegean they originate North and in South Aegean they originate Northwest. In the marine area of Rhodes they tend to be Western. With the influence of the sea breeze during the day, the ‘meltemia’ grow locally. The greater intensity of ‘meltemia’ occurs mainly in the Cyclades and South Aegean. North winds of the Aegean blow in the winter, reaching 8-9 Beaufort. They show their greatest intensity in the straits of Kafireas (Cavo D’Oro) and in the Cyclades. Furthermore in the marine area of the Aegean during the winter, and mainly during the cold period that Sirocco is blowing, humid wind with progressive strengthening, of southwestern origin, followed by low clouds and rains. It appears mainly in the southern and western areas of the Aegean, but stormy Sirocco is not seen very often.


Kagiampaki Ν. Α. 2011. Contemporary phytogeographical analysis in the Central and Southern Aegean archipelago. PhD thesis. University of Crete, Department of Biology.