ROME – The Latest on cold weather and snow across Europe (all times local):
Temperatures in Moscow have dropped to this winter's low despite the approaching spring.
The Meteorological Office said on Monday the mercury in the Russian capital dropped to nearly minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit) on Sunday night, the coldest night this winter.
Meteorologists are forecasting unusually low temperatures for early March. Roman Vilfand, chief of the Russian Meteorological Office, told the Interfax news agency that Muscovites should brace themselves for frosty weather in early March and could only "count on the warmth of the soul," not higher temperatures outside.
Moscow earlier this month saw what has been described as the strongest snowfall on record when more than a month's average of snow fell on the city, turning streets and yards into snowdrifts.
Romans have awoken to a rare snowfall, after an Arctic storm passing over much of Europe dumped enough snow to force schools to close and public transport to reduce services.
Rome's Mediterranean climate and proximity to the sea usually result in mild winters, such that restaurants often keep outdoor seating open even through the coldest months of the year. As a result, the Monday morning snowfall, though not huge in quantity, brought excited young Romans out for a rare snowball fight or walk in the slush.
Mayor Virginia Raggi signed an ordinance Sunday evening closing public schools as a precaution, and many private ones followed suit.
Elsewhere in much of northern and central Italy, the storm also closed schools and disrupted transport.