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Snow halts travel in Istanbul, arctic air spread across Turkey into Sunday

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 07, 2017, 9:30:27 PM EST

Disruptive snow and plunging temperatures will sweep across central Turkey through Sunday.

Arctic air plunged unusually far south across eastern Europe this week and will continue its rare journey into Turkey through Sunday.

The arctic blast will bring a significant drop in temperatures, causing snow to fall in all of the lower elevations of western and central Turkey. The exception will be along the immediate southern coast.

Following a high temperature near 11 C (52 F) in Istanbul and Bursa on Friday, cold air rapidly swept into the region and heavy snow began to fall. The high on Saturday was only near -4 C (25 F) as snow blanketed the cities.

1/7/17 Turkey

Howling winds held AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures to minus 15 C (5 F) in Istanbul on Saturday.

Detailed forecast for Istanbul, Turkey
Turkey weather center
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In Istanbul, 23 cm (9 inches) of snow has accumulated at the Atatukr International Airport where, according to, 754 flights were canceled on Saturday.

The Associated Press reported that Anadolu, a state-run news agency, said the Bosphorus Strait running through Istanbul was closed which halted ferry traffic.

Istanbul snow 1/7

A woman brushes snow off the face of a child playing in drifting snow in an upscale neighbourhood of Istanbul, during snowfall, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. Heavy snow clogged roads, shipping traffic in Bosphorus and forced hundreds of flight cancellations in the Turkish metropolis. (AP Photo/Mike Gorder)

1/7/17 Turkey Snow Map

As the snow comes to an end across much of western Turkey on Sunday, residents of central Turkey will still have to contend with snowy conditions.

A total of 8-15 cm (3-6 inches) will create slippery travel and disruptions from Konya to Sivas as totals top 60 cm (2 feet) in localized areas of the Taurus Mountains. Travel through the mountain passes will become extremely difficult, if not impossible.

As the storm track sets up over central Turkey early next week, additional rounds of snow could further add to this weekend’s totals and create additional travel nightmares.

Content contributed by Meteorologist Adam Douty

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