Skip to comments."Big Chill" Hits Europe
Posted on 03/04/2005 1:11:55 AM PST by demlosers
Snow-covered palm trees in the Mediterranean, travel chaos on the continent and a rise in heating costs are the results of an unusual European cold snap.
Airports in Paris and Amsterdam, where cancellations stranded thousands of passengers overnight, struggled with icy runways and heavy delays on Thursday as a result of the heavy late winter conditions.
Amsterdam's Schiphol airport has limited the number of incoming European flights due to snowfall but is going ahead with departures to help the stranded.
"As long as there are problems with dealing with incoming flights, we are giving priority to ensuring smooth departures. We are working on this flat out," an air traffic control spokeswoman for Schiphol said on Thursday.
In some parts of The Netherlands snowfall was up to 50 centimetres, the highest levels recorded for March in the past 20 to 25 years, the Dutch meteorological institute said.
Airport operators in France also said flights from Paris's two main airports Roissy and Orly were delayed by up to two hours due to snow on the runways and that bad weather conditions in other parts of Europe had caused delays.
Automotive travel and remote areas of Europe also groaned under the weight of heavy snow.
Villages Cut Off
Italy's port city of Genoa was paralysed by a blanket of rare late winter white stuff that caused traffic chaos as far away as Milan, in one of the coldest starts to March on record, meteorologists said.
Authorities closed Genoa airport, shut city schools and ordered buses off the roads as a blizzard blanketed the Liguria coastline. Milan also got a rare covering during the morning, as did the nearby cities of Turin and Parma.
Police advised people not to travel across much of the north unless their journeys were essential.
In Turin, the thermometer fell to -8 C overnight, 1.5 C lower than the previous record low for March set in 1971, while Rome suffered its coldest March for 18 years.
Heavy snowfall and below-freezing temperatures across most of northern and central Greece this week have cut off dozens of mountain villages, blocked roads and led authorities to close some schools.
The river Evros along the northeastern border with Turkey has swelled in the past weeks and authorities have evacuated one village and gone ahead with controlled flooding of thousands of hectares of farmland to reduce the high water level.
The river is expected to swell further following renewed heavy snowfall this week and warmer temperatures expected in the coming days. Authorities have warned more villages could be evacuated.
In Spain, renowned for its warm winter sunshine in parts, palm trees in the Mediterranean city of Barcelona have been topped with snow and Madrid has seen its heaviest snowfall for about 15 years.
Weather experts said the country has experienced its lowest temperatures in decades this month and the government has been warning people about driving in dangerous conditions.
"The cold snap of the last three days has been one of three or four of the most significant in the last 30 to 40 years," Angel Ribera, head of forecasting at the National Meteorological Institute, said.
The cold weather has also caused discomfort for those staying at home and hit the wallets of many Europeans.
In central France, some 6000 households were without electricity and a gas energy company in Britain has calculated that Britons are expected to fork out an extra 23 million pounds a day on top of normal bills to keep warm in the "big chill".
Ironically, Portugal was worried about one of its worst droughts in a century. About 75 percent of the Iberian nation is suffering from "extreme and severe" drought during what should be its rainy season, Meteorology Institute President Aderito Serrao told TSF radio.
Don't you know that dropping temperatures prove global warming?
"Don't you know that dropping temperatures prove global warming?"
Don't laugh. I've actually heard people try to make that arguement.
When France had a heatwave thousands of old people died, how many will this cold front kill??
the sky is burning! the sky is burning! says chicken little
Oh wait, You mean it's getting cold, not hott?
Oy, first it was REALLY HOT, now it is REALLY COLD. How will the Euroweenies survive?
Sounds like Hell is in the process of dropping below 0 degrees C. If it's not there already.
My daughter heard on the Dutch radio this morning that it was minus 22.5 Centigrade last night in the Flevo area of The Netherlands. I think that is an all time record for March.
Maybe we'll have tulips in July.
is that he who invented the internet?
Damned global warning again! It is all George W's fault.
Climate change? OK. Global warming? My fanny...
Aye, the Creator of the Internet, Himself.
I'm more or less on the westcoast too. The thermometer outside my home office showed minus 11 (12 Fahrenheid --- I will always "feel" fahrenheid temperatures no matter how much I understand centigrade). Some snow, but not nearly as much as I saw up near Amsterdam yesterday. A guy I know who lives in Alkmaar said they had two feet of snow (there I go with that crazy English system again).
I too will accept that there may be climate change (it is always changing to one degree or another [no pun intended]), but I strongly lean to the idea that fluctuations in solar intensity vastly outweigh any human induced factors.
< old geezer voice>
Back in my day the temperature was the same everyday! None of this winter and summer, heat wave and cold snap nonsense.
The weather was boring and we liked it that way!
</ old geezer voice>
I suspect Carl Rove is hiding in his mountain fortress right now, listening to Bach's Toccata and Fugue and yanking the levers on his diabolical "climate change machine" while laughing insanely.
The "Global Warming-Kyoto Loving-Green Party" freaks deserve to freeze their butts off. I wonder how long they would need to stay in the freezer to shake off their idiotic ideas.
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