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    Europe Spring at Last

    April 11, 2013, 4:40:41 AM EDT

    The warmest weather for the year thus far is in the making for much of Europe.


    The big warm-up, which will yield high temperatures more fitting of June than April, will spread over western Europe Sunday and Monday.

    It comes in the wake of a wintry four-week stretch having unusual cold and snow across Europe.

    A major Atlantic storm cutting northward west of the British Archipelago Saturday and Sunday will instigate the anticipated warming southerly wind. These will give the warmest day to U.K., western France and Spain on Monday, then Germany, Switzerland, the Low Countries and eastern France on Monday.

    London will reach 20 degrees C (68 F) on Sunday, making it easily the warmest day so far this year. It would be 7 degrees C above normal for the date, and more fitting of mid June.

    Also Sunday, Paris will warm to 21 degrees C (70 F), making it seem more like early June. Normally, mid April daytimes warm to about 15 to 16 degrees C (60 F).

    Madrid will bask in early June-like warmth as it tops at 25 degrees C (77 F) on Sunday. As of April 10, the highest temperature in 2013 was 18 degrees C (65 F).

    Monday, a cold front will shift the axis of warmest air eastward. Readings will rise to at least 20 degrees, locally 25 degrees C, in most of France, Germany, Switzerland and the Low Countries. Much of central Europe, even Denmark and Sweden, will warm to between 15 and 20 degrees C at this time.

    The warming will be welcome for those weary after prolonged wintry cold and snow. The stretch between March 11 and April 10 had average temperatures 3 to 6 degrees C below normal in much of northern and central Europe, with Poland and Germany being coldest with respect to normal.

    Meanwhile, in Kiev, Thursday, April 11, was the first day without "official" snow cover since Dec. 3 at Kiev. Thus, snow had covered the ground in the Ukraine capital for 129-straight days, its depth reaching a top of 56 cm (22 inches) on March 24.

    Moscow, Russia, however, was marking 137 straight snow-cover days and counting, as Thursday began with a 37-cm (15-inch) snow blanket still covering the city.

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