Freezing temperatures crack railroad tracks in Poland, snow blankets most of the Turkish city of Istanbul.
During the weekend and on Monday, January 18, most of Turkey was at the mercy of a cyclone that formed in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
On January 19, the temperature in Istanbul at night dropped to -5 ..- 6ºC, in Ankara it was freezing to -13 ..- 15ºC. The temperature dropped below normal by 4-8 degrees. And in coming days, the cold in Turkey will continue.
Temperatures dropped to -28C (-18F) in parts of Poland, and many trains were delayed on Monday after tracks at two Warsaw railway stations cracked.
The cold prompted an increase in burning coal for heat. Air pollution levels were so high in Warsaw that city officials urged people to remain indoors.
Just across Poland’s southwestern border, temperatures in the Czech Republic dropped below minus 20C (-4F) in many places.
The lowest temperature, of -27C (-16F), was recorded Monday in Orlicke Zahori, a mountainous village 160 km (100 miles) east of Prague and near the Polish border, according to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute.
The freezing weather was expected to be replaced by heavy snowfall in the northeastern Czech Republic, the institute said.
In Albania, temperatures dropped to -13°C in Peshkopi, 110 km east of the capital Tirana. The freezing conditions have made driving dangerous and prevented firefighters in Pogradec from arriving at a home fire in time to save a man’s life.
A man also lost his life in Germany after his car shot over a mound of snow.
Three skiers in Switzerland were buried by an avalanche on Sunday. One man was able to free himself from the snow and assist another. The third man was taken to hospital in critical condition and later died.
One person also died on Saturday in the French Alps because of an avalanche while several others survived after being buried under snow, authorities said. Heavy snowfall which had “made the snowpack very unstable”.
Météo France said that the country’s average temperature during the first two weeks of January was 3.09°C — nearly 2°C below average for the month of January.
Thanks to Laurel, Martin Siebert, Argiris Diamantis and Don Wilkening for these links