This month cold weather and snowfalls have hit Romania and other European countries.
Although we’re in the middle of spring, winter has returned with a vengeance to Romania. Nearly three quarters of the country’s regions were under code orange or yellow alerts against heavy snowfall or rainfall, strong wind and unseasonably cold temperatures. Meteorologists explained that the cold snap is the effect of a trans-Balkan cyclone crossing Romania these days. The cyclone amassed in Central Europe, shifted down towards the Mediterranean, crossed the Balkans and reached the Black Sea basin.
Besides, a cold front of Arctic origin sweeping across Europe from the north has changed its trajectory towards the southeast. Average temperatures during this period range from 3 to 12 degrees, whereas normal temperatures for April would stand between 14 and 21 degrees Celsius. Forecasters say Saturday night will be extremely cold, with temperatures expected to drop to negative levels in Romania’s northern half, as well as in the south. The lowest temperatures will stand at minus 8 degrees in depression areas.
Bucharest too was under a code yellow alert against heavy rainfall and extreme cold. This weekend, temperatures will drop below zero. As a result, the city’s heating service was forced to resume supplying district heating, within only a week of its shutdown. On the other hand, dozens of villages in the east and southeast were cut off from the power grid after strong wind shattered several high-tension wires. Snowdrifts have blocked traffic on several national roads, especially in the east, south and centre, also seriously disrupting traffic on other county and village roads.
Taken aback by the surprising bad weather, snow removal companies took out their snow-clearing machines and sprayed ice-melting salt brine on roads to avoid accidents, since many drivers had already switched to summer tires.
The bad weather has also disrupted rail traffic. Several trains reported big delays of up to two hours due to the blizzard, strong wind and extreme cold. Ports on the Romanian Black Seacoast were also temporarily shut down because of the strong wind. Air traffic on some of the country’s airports was also affected by rain, several international flights being cancelled.
Meteorologists expect the weather to slightly improve this weekend in Romania, first in terms of the amount of rainfall. Next week temperatures will increase steadily. The bad weather these days has affected other European countries as well.
(translated by: Vlad Palcu)