Arctic outbreak kills dozens amid heavy snow in eastern Europe, Turkey
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 10, 2017, 9:38:44 AM EST
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Millions of people from Baltic states and Poland southward to the Mediterranean Sea have endured dangerous cold and bouts of snow.
Thousands of refugees have also had to endure the bitter cold which is expected to last through at least Thursday.
Temperatures plummeted to the lowest level in years in Warsaw, Minsk, Budapest and Moscow.
The temperature fell to minus 30 C (minus 22 F) in Moscow on Saturday, about 17 degrees C (30 degrees F) below normal. The Orthodox Christmas Eve on Jan. 6 was the coldest since 1987, according to the Russian Meteorological Service.
Two deaths were reported in Russia due the cold, according to the Associated Press.
Warsaw reported a low temperature of minus 19 C (minus 3 F) on Saturday, the coldest air to settle over the city since February 2012 when the temperature fell to minus 23 C (minus 10 F).
Ten people were killed by the cold in Poland on Sunday, bringing the total to 65 since Nov. 1 according to the Government Center for Security.
The lowest temperature since February 2012 was also reported in Minsk. The mercury bottomed out at minus 25 C (minus 13 F). Five people have been reported dead as a result of the cold air by the government since the beginning of the year.
Temperatures plummeted below minus 25 C (-13 F) in eastern Czech Republic over the weekend where at least six people died from the cold.
The Associated Press reported that the cold blast has resulted in frozen water pipes across Croatia, leaving thousands without running water.
Farther south, a combination of cold air and snow created dangerous conditions from Italy and the southern Balkan Peninsula into Turkey.
Snow accumulated a general 15-30 cm (6-12 inches) from eastern Albania to the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria leading to travel delays both by air and ground.
At least four people were killed by the cold in Albania while around 2,000 homes were left without power due to heavy snow in Bulgaria.
Heavy snow fell across central Apennine Mountains in Italy. Campobasso received 91 cm (36 inches) of snow since Thursday night. Despite dodging any snowfall, Rome still felt the cold as the temperature dropped to minus 4 C (24 F) on Sunday.
In Greece, the temperature fell to minus 4 C (24 F) in Athens on Monday morning while northern areas have had temperatures as low as minus 18 C (0 F). Snow was reported as far south as Crete where it caused flight cancellations.
In Turkey, heavy snow caused flight cancellations and school closures in Istanbul on Monday after more than 30 cm (12 inches) of snow fell across parts of the city. Schools remained closed in the city on Tuesday.
The dangerous cold will linger across most of eastern Europe through the middle of the week before temperatures slowly moderate back closer to normal by the weekend.
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