While it is still freezing cold in germany at the moment, especially at night, meteorologists promise at least some improvement next week. However, it will only be a little milder – the german weather service is forecasting cold and wet days. Other european countries were hit much harder by the renewed onset of winter. Snowstorms and thunderstorms paralyzed traffic on friday, especially in the east, and caused chaos on the roads.
People were hit particularly hard in hungary, where thousands were stuck in endless traffic jams all night long. Others slept in emergency accommodation. Interior minister sandor pinter declared disaster alert on friday. In total, three people were killed and 76 others injured in accidents, he said. Several people were injured in a storm in bulgaria, one woman was killed. In kazakhstan, the return of three astronauts from the international space station ISS planned for friday had to be postponed due to heavy snowfall.
But people in the south are also complaining about the weather: on the spanish vacation island of mallorca, for example, it’s unusually cold – in the vacation resorts by the sea, it was barely warmer than eight degrees on friday morning. There was even snow in the mountains. Meanwhile, turkey was hit by heavy rainstorms that covered roofs of houses and toppled trees. On the mediterranean coast there were high waves in which several fishing boats sank.
– GERMANY: low "andreas" is expected to bring thick clouds in the coming days, dumping rain or snow depending on temperatures. Temperatures rise to a meager nine degrees plus in offenbach, according to the german weather service (DWD). For the beginning of spring next wednesday (20. March) meteorologists expect many clouds, rain or snow and single-digit temperatures.
– HUNGARY: snowdrifts, slippery roads, accidents and jackknifed trucks brought traffic to a standstill. Two pileups occurred on the m7. Thousands of vehicles were stuck, more than 50 towns were cut off from the outside world, and five rail lines were paralyzed. "We haven’t had weather conditions like this in living memory," said interior minister pinter. In eastern hungary, tens of thousands of people were left without electricity after wind-blown trees damaged overhead power lines. For friday, the hungarian national holiday, all state celebrations were canceled. – SLOVAKIA: storms and snowdrifts disrupted car traffic in several districts and hampered train services. In the district of komarno on the hungarian border alone, people from 300 cars had to be quartered in emergency camps.
– UKRAINE: especially the west of the country suffers from the winter weather. Due to heavy snowfall, power was cut in numerous towns and villages. According to the media, winter chaos reigned in the big city of lviv (lemberg). Several streetcars derailed. 200 trucks stuck in carpathia, police say. Near the border, a refugee from sri lanka froze to death, two others arrived at a clinic severely chilled. According to the border guards, ukrainian tractors had brought the refugees through 70 centimeters of snow close to the border and left them there.
– POLAND: on the A4 between tarnow and brzesko, a coach carrying 55 israeli tourists left the road in icy conditions and crashed into the side of the freeway, the news channel "TVN24" reported. The travelers were unharmed. After many accidents, traffic police also banned trucks from driving on the so-called zakopianka from krakow to zakopane.
– CZECH REPUBLIC: winter sports enthusiasts were once again delighted by the cold weather: numerous ski slopes in the bohemian low mountains extended the season by a few days. More than a meter of snow fell in the giant mountains around harrachov.
– BULGARIA: heavy winds tore off roofs and downed trees. Numerous locations were without power. A 34 year old woman died when a construction storm fell on her.
– RUSSIA: the number of deaths from cold weather in russia has risen to more than 300 this winter. 305 people have died of frostbite or hypothermia so far, interfax agency reported. Media report the heaviest march snowfalls in 50 years. The capital city of moscow is bracing itself for a snowfall not seen in 130 years, wrote the tabloid komsomolskaya pravda. Snow is expected to fall all weekend.
– MALLORCA: authorities issued storm warnings for mallorca and the other balearic islands. In the high altitudes of mallorca, according to the weather office aemet, a temperature of zero degrees was measured.
– FRANCE: after several days of exceptional conditions, the weather situation in france has largely eased. However, the damage caused by ice and snow will take time to repair. According to an interim assessment, french insurers expect costs of up to 100 million euros.