Published March 11, 2013
A major snowstorm is expected to develop across central and eastern Europe during the middle of the week, bringing heavy snow from the Alps to western Russia.
Cold, stormy conditions have been a major feature across Europe recently, with cold air invading the British Isles and northern France, bringing up to a foot of snow across parts of that region.
On Wednesday, a storm moving over Italy will pull warm, moist Mediterranean air northward into the abnormally cold air over the continent. The result will be the beginning of a snowstorm. The first significant snow will begin across the Swiss and Italian Alps. Most of the ski resorts across the region should get ample amounts of fresh snow, with a widespread 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) of snow. Widespread travel delays should be expected in the region, with most passes being difficult to travel, if they remain open.
Thursday into Thursday night, the storm will cross the Adriatic Sea and bring heavy snow with it. The higher terrain from Albania to Croatia will enough snow to cause major travel delays across the region, with 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) possible away from the immediate coast and 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) possible in the mountain passes of the region.
At the same time that the heavy snow impacts the Balkans, a second portion of the storm surging northward into Romania and Hungary will bring intense snowfall across the region. This portion of the storm will rip into Russia on Friday and carry a swath of snow with it.
The heaviest snow in eastern Europe will likely fall over Slovakia, eastern Poland and northern Belarus. Widespread portions of that region will receive 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) of snow, with 8-12 inches (20-30 cm) of snow falling in some locations, especially across any higher terrain.
Following the storm, frigid temperatures are expected to linger across eastern Europe, preventing any snowmelt and encouraging wet roads to refreeze, presenting lingering travel concerns.