Greece has seen much turbulent summer weather with storms, rains and floods lashing different parts of the country.While tourists dash for shelter from the rain, and lightning bolts light up the Acropolis, it is worth considering how the ancient Hellenes explained the weather.

Although Zeus is well known for his thunderbolts, it is the Anemoi which seem to correspond more specifically with the winds and the weather they brought to Greece. Each such God was ascribed a cardinal direction from where they would bring the wind and other weather phenomena.

Boreas is the north wind and bringer of cold winter air. Zephyrus is the west wind and bringer of light spring and early-summer breezes, and Notus is the south wind and bringer of the storms of late summer and autumn. Eurus is another weather God but was not associated with any of the specific ancient Hellenic seasons, of which they had only three.

There were a host of other, more minor, Hellenic deities whose names were gives to the particular winds which would blow at different times of the year. The Romans adopted some of these Gods, giving them new names, but still ascribing to them the power to bring different types of weather.

The Winds were portrayed as either man-shaped, winged Gods who lived together in a cavern on Mount Haimos (Haemus) in Thrake (Thrace), or as horse-shaped divinities stabled by Aiolos Hippotades, "the Reiner of Horses", on the island of Aiolia and set out to graze on the shores of the earth-encircling River Okeanos.

Early poets, such as Homer and Hesiod, drew a clear distinction between the four, relatively benign, seasonal Winds (Anemoi) and the destructive Storm-Winds (Anemoi Thuellai). The latter, spawned by the monster Typhoeus, were either housed in the caverns of Aiolos or guarded by the Hekatonkheires in the pits of Tartaros. Later authors blurred the distinction between the two.

The female counterparts of the Anemoi were the Aellai Harpyiai (Harpies). Mated with the Winds they produced many swift, immortal horses.