Deadly storm slams Italy, Balkan Peninsula, Turkey with heavy rain and snow into Saturday

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 25, 2019, 12:45:14 PM EST


At least two people were killed in the the violent storm, that will impact much of the Balkan Peninsula and Turkey into this weekend.

There is the potential that this storm could be distinguished as a medicane, a more tropical-like cyclone moving through the Mediterranean Sea.

Snow is expected to fall from the Dinaric Alps into the interior Balkan Peninsula before expanding northward into eastern Poland, Belarus and western Ukraine.

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The heaviest snow fell in the higher elevations of Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo during the beginning of the storm.

Heavy snow continues to expand across most of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and northeast Albania into Saturday with widespread snowfall of 8-15 cm (3-6 inches). The hardest hit lower elevations can expect up to 30 cm (12 inches) with mountainous locations receiving up to 60 cm (24 inches) of total snowfall by Saturday night.

“This snowfall will bring impacts ranging from icy surfaces to potential road closures and transportation delays,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.

Lesser amounts of snowfall are forecast from Croatia to Hungary, eastern Poland, Belarus and western Ukraine where locations can expect 2-8 cm (1-3 inches) into Saturday morning.

Farther south and east, a wintry mix will bring the risk for icy conditions from southern and eastern Romania into Moldova and central Ukraine into Saturday.

"Significant travel disruptions and localized power outages are possible along with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 6 mm (0.25 of an inch) of ice," said Roys.

Areas at risk for significant ice accumulation include the cities of Bucharest, Romania; Chisinau, Moldova and Kyiv, Ukraine.

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While not all areas will endure wintry weather, gusty winds, heavy rain and flooding will also be a concern across the region.

Gusty winds will continue across Greece and southwestern Turkey through Friday evening as the system moves towards the Black Sea.

The airport in Antalya, Turkey reported wind gusts as high as 92 km/h (57 mph) around 3:30 PM, local time, on Thursday.

Later on Thursday, it was confirmed that a tornado caused dmage through the region, and killed at least two people, according to Daily Sabah.

Areas at risk for flooding into this weekend include much of central and southern Italy as well as locations from Zader, Croatia to Tirana, Albania and much of Greece.

Locations from southern Albania through western Greece as well as northern Greece around Thessaloniki will be at risk for 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) of rain with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 200 mm (8 inches).

There will be an elevated risk for flash flooding and mudslides due to the heavy rainfall targeting the same areas for multiple days.

Athens is expected to dodge the heaviest rainfall; however, around 25 mm (1 inch) of rain is expected from Thursday night into Friday causing localized flooding and travel delays.

The recent stormy weather pattern will persist into at least next week, as another storm brings the risk for rain and snow to Italy and the Balkan Peninsula.

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