As frigid air sinks into southern Europe, snow will pile up across parts of Greece and Turkey through New Year's Day.
The cold will combine with a storm tracking slowly from the Mediterranean Sea to Turkey to produce the lengthy snow event through Thursday.
The heaviest snow is expected to target northwestern Turkey with a total of 15-30 cm (6-12 inches) falling before the first day of 2015 is over. Such snow is sure to impact travel and daily routines severely.
Travel could even be brought to a standstill. That is especially true as biting northeasterly winds howl and blow and drift the snow around significantly, reducing visibility dramatically.
Farther west across Greece, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Evan Duffey anticipates 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) in the mountains with 2-5 cm (1-2 inches) in the foothills.
The same can be said for Sicily and even northern Tunisia in Africa with the cold storm having a far-reaching grip to the central Mediterranean.
Coastal communities will escape the heaviest snow as rain occasionally mixes in.
However, a slushy 2-5 cm (1-2 inches) of snow will still whiten Istanbul. The majority of that snow is expected through Wednesday morning and on grassy surfaces.
Temperatures should remain too warm for little, if any, snow in Athens, Greece, and Izmir and Ankara, Turkey. A chilly rain will instead fall.
Blustery winds on the northern and western side of the storm will hold AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures well below actual temperatures in northwestern Turkey, the southern Balkan Peninsula and the central Mediterranean.
On a day when highs near 9 C (upper 40s) are more common, RealFeel Temperatures will be held closer to 5 below zero C (23 F) on Wednesday in Istanbul.
Drier weather will return to Turkey, Greece and the central Mediterranean by Friday as the storm departs and high pressure builds in.
"I'm concerned that the cold following this storm could lead to icy spots in the southern Balkan Peninsula Thursday and Friday nights in areas that received either rain or see snow melt during the day," continued Duffey. "This threat is mainly for places away from the immediate coast."