People stroll in the snow covered square of the Louvre museum, after a snowfall in Paris, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
A sprawling winter storm, centered near Italy, has hovered over the Mediterranean basin since last Friday, bringing snow to a wide area of central and western Europe.
Some of the heaviest snow fell between Friday and Sunday in parts of northern Italy, Austria and Czech Republic. By Monday, snow waned in central Europe and backed westward into France and northernmost Spain.
Most snowfall was modest. Paris received roughly 1 inch while St. Girons in southern France and Limoges in central France received up to 4 inches.
The snow in Europe was set up by the strong Mediterranean storm together with strong high pressure spread across Scandinavia and western Russia to the North Sea.
It was the high that steered an Atlantic storm on a southern track eastward to the Mediterranean Sea while also spreading unusually cold air over western Europe.
The cold air allowed the storm's precipitation to spread northward and westward as snow, rather than rain, which is more typical of winter in most of western Europe.
The risk of flooding downpours and gusty thunderstorms will spread toward southern Florida as a tropical disturbance shifts northwestward from Cuba.
Following a tropical threat for the United States Gulf coast next week, an uptick in tropical systems will continue for the next six to eight weeks.
After showers threaten to spoil outdoor plans over the weekend, Monday will feature great weather for the bank holiday in Wales and England.
On the heels of deadly Typhoon Mindulle, Typhoon Lionrock is poised to make landfall in Japan early next week with heavy rainfall, damaging winds and an inundating storm surge.
Slow-moving and repetitive downpours will raise the risk for flash flooding along the western Gulf Coast into early next week.
Relief from the heat baking Germany this weekend will come by early next week, but not before violent thunderstorms threaten northern areas to end the weekend.
Georgia & South Carolina (1881)
335 died in a hurricane. The most severe damage was in Savannah and Charleston.
South Carolina (1893)
First of 3 great hurricanes that year in SC. Over 1,000 people drowned in tidal surge at Charleston.
Miami, FL (1964)
Hurricane Cleo battered South Florida area, the first direct hit since 1950. Gusts to 135 mph, barometer 28.57 inches. Damage at $125 million.