Europe froze in the spring!

An entry to the cold weather, the skiers and the worried farmers in Europe are pleased

Europe froze in the spring!

An entry to the cold weather, the skiers and the worried farmers in Europe are pleased

22 April 2017 Saturday 17:35
Europe froze in the spring!

Over the past week, a mass of polar air has marched through Europe, from Germany to the shores of the Black Sea. It was fronted by an active band of cloud that brought with it strong winds, rain and snow.

Alpine skiers from France to Austria were happily surprised by what turned out to be deep-powder snow. This has given a brief boost to a closing season with anything up to one metre falling on the slopes.

For the most part, though, this weather was not welcome. Snow in Poland and Slovakia caused multiple road traffic accidents. Trees and electricity poles have been brought down in Romania as the weight of spring snow is greater than that of cold-winter snow.

Regeneration of the frontal zone with the help of the Black Sea caused two days of heavy snow in Moldova. The capital, Chisinau, went from no snow on the ground to 57cm in 27 hours. A state of emergency was declared.

The snow fell from the front of the mass of polar air: the air behind is, of course, cold. Morning frost in late April is potentially harmful to young crops. Vineyards in France, Switzerland and Germany have been either water sprayed or warmed by fires in an attempt to limit damage.

While weather warnings are still valid until Monday, the worst of the weather has gone and won't return. 

Zakopane in deep late-spring snow in southern Poland on April 20, 2017. [Grzegorz Momot/EPA]

This resembles a mid-winter scene after the second day of snow in Chisinau, Moldova. More than half a metre fell. [Dumitru Doru/EPA]

For some, this was an unexpected revival of the skiing season. Nearly a metre of powder fell in the Austrian Tirol in Kitbzbuhel.[Kitzbill]

Spring snow is much heavier than winter snow, and caused this sort of damage in Kharkiv, Ukraine. [Stanislav Belousov/Reuters]

Paraffin fire pots protecting the vines against sub-zero temperatures at a vineyard of Swiss wine grower Daniel Grab in Adlikon, Switzerland. [Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters]

A method of protecting vines from frost is to spray water and create an insulating glaze as seen in Chablis, near Auxerre, in France. [Philippe Desmaze/AFP]

Lighting heaters in a vineyard helps to limit frost damage as done in Chablis, France. [Philippe Desmazes/AFP]


Updated: 22.04.2017 17:45
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