A cold outbreak will settle over western and central Europe, beginning at the end of the week.
Significant snow will fall in a few areas, even into southern Europe.
Temperatures will dip 5 to at least 10 degrees F below normal in the U.K., Germany, France and Italy, to name a few. The coldest two to three days could bottom 15 degrees F below normal.
Cold spots could reach 10 degrees F in Germany, 15 degrees F in France and the Low Countries and 20 to 25 degrees in the U.K.
Computer-derived (GFS) forecast scenario of near-surface temperature (degrees C) early Wednesday, March 13, 2013. It is perhaps most extreme in the hills of north-central Germany, where forecast readings are below 0 F.
The prospect of wintry cold and snow comes even as western Europe basked in April-like warmth.
Tuesday brought the highest temperatures of 2013 to London, Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, to name a few. Readings in areas eastward into Germany climbed about as high on Wednesday.
Going forward, cold will first consolidate over Scandinavia and the Baltic region, beginning Thursday, then the cold will sink southward to the heart of Europe during the weekend.
Once in place, the cold should last through the following weekend, fostering a few significant outbreaks of snow.
Any one of a number of Atlantic weather systems slated to track eastward into Europe, starting Saturday or Sunday in the north, could yield snow.
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