Arctic cold brought snow and extremely cold temperatures to much of Europe

Arctic cold brought snow and extremely cold temperatures to much of Europe
Arctic cold brought snow and extremely cold temperatures to much of Europe

A large Arctic cold flash arrived in Europe over the weekend, dumping snow over much of the continent after an unusually warm winter. Heavy snow, strong winds and extremely cold temperatures have been issued for many countries.

The cold is expected to create dangerous frosty conditions that could affect flowering trees, and most importantly, it could potentially exacerbate the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, especially in Italy, where the number of cases has risen to more than 60,000.

The European Meteorological Service Meteoalarm has issued the following warnings: snow, winds and extremely cold temperatures in Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria; snow in Croatia, Serbia, Romania, North Macedonia, as well as France, Greece and Hungary; winds and extremely low temperatures in Germany; extremely low temperatures in Poland, Montenegro and Austria; finally, snow and winds in Italy.

"We are just seeing a fairly large outbreak of cold air mass in East Central Europe this week, with more coming soon," - (SWE).

"It looks like another very powerful high pressure system will form over the North Atlantic and introduce a significant flash of cold in Western and potentially also Southwest Europe in the last days of March. Even snow will be possible," - (SWE).

"Although the air mass is indeed coming from the Arctic region, this does not mean that the cold will be very strong. But the last days of March will be much colder than usual."

On Tuesday, some parts of the Central and Eastern region were already experiencing heavy snowfall and a heavy blizzard. Spring snowfall has reached North Macedonia. Snow also fell in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Spring snowfall, today in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Thanks to Nick Vasilkovski for sending the video. Posted with permission.

- severe-weather. EU (@severeweatherEU) March 23, 2020

Meanwhile, a lot of snow fell in Belgrade, Serbia. In some places in Slovenia, snow fell from 10 to 20 cm, while in the northeastern region, especially on the southern slope of the Pohorje massif, a heavy blizzard was felt. Higher amounts were reported in mountainous areas.

Serbia today with 10-20 cm of fresh snow

Kragujevac (p. 1, 173 m) 24 cm

Krusevac (163 m) 22 cm

Belgrade 9 cm

- Zdenek Nejedly (@ZdenekNejedly) March 24, 2020

Snow fell even in Dubrovnik, Southern Croatia. Poland has just received its first severe frosts this year, which wreaked havoc on production. The amount of damage has not yet been determined.

Vorst in Polen

- Fruitteeltonline (@Fruitteelt_onl) March 24, 2020

Meanwhile, parts of southern Italy were awakened by snow and hail on Tuesday morning as temperatures plummeted across the country. Areas at higher altitudes in central Italy also reported snow.

Freezing weather is expected to continue in the country until Thursday, March 26, which is "decidedly unusual for this time of year," the country's meteorological services said.

"In particular, on Wednesday and Thursday, air temperatures will remain below normal, while snow will fall again at low altitudes in the interior of the center-south, as well as in the Alps."

It was snowing like that over Roseto Valforte (FG), north Apulia, #Italy, just a couple of hours ago. Thanks to #meteopugliainfoto and Vito Giannini for the report #snow #apulia

- Paolo Saracino (@ PaoloSaracino10) March 24, 2020

Because things aren't weird enough already, this morning it's snowing heavily here in Bari. (We were sunbathing on the balcony this weekend …)

- Clare Speak (@ClareinItaly) March 24, 2020

Residents of Hungary have shared photos and videos of fresh snow across the country, with up to 10 cm visible in some areas as well.

"I live in Hungary and it is really unusual to see snow at the end of March, especially when a few days ago I only needed a sweatshirt when I went outside to see spring flowers and now it is," wrote one user Twitter.

Offensive brutale du #froid ce 23 mars sur l'Europe centrale et les Balkans: fortes chutes de #neige en cours entre Serbie, Bulgarie et Roumanie.

à #Sofia on mesurait 16 cm de neige à 12UTC par -1.7 ° C alors qu'il y a 2 jours il y faisait 22.1 ° C (digne de fin mai).

- Etienne Kapikian (@EKMeteo) March 23, 2020

بعرف زهقتوا الثلج بس والله فشي غير هالموضوع نحكي فيه # COVID2019 #QuarantineLife #Hungary # Pécs #Snow

- Haneen R. Atallah (@HaneenAtallah) March 24, 2020

Let it snow … #letitsnow #snow #stayhome #Takecareofeachother #openthewindow #almostspring #hungary

- Melinda90 (@ Melinda908) March 24, 2020

For the Balkans, meteorologist Tyler Royce said that up to 8cm of snow could fall in the middle of this week, including in areas with lower elevations.

He also noted that the last days of March will be much colder than usual. Cold advection is expected to begin on Friday evening, March 27, following a more rapid increase in pressure in the North Atlantic High Pressure System.

A very cold air mass then collects over the Greenland Sea, spreading directly south towards the North Sea, Scandinavia and the UK by Saturday 28 March.

On Sunday, March 29, cold advection intensifies and continues further south into France.

"Therefore, the last days of March will be quite cold throughout Western Europe, with potentially frosty mornings in the UK, Ireland and Wales. Also over Benelux and northern France."