March should bring spring weather to the northern hemisphere, but the warmth has been strangely absent from Europe.

Much of the continent is shivering in decidedly chilly weather. The temperatures are hovering below average and many parts are coated in snow, including northern Spain.

The exception to the chill is Eastern Europe, where the Romanian capital, Bucharest, soared to a balmy 21C on Monday. This is way above the average of 7C, which is expected at this time of year.

The contrast between the temperature in Eastern Europe and the rest of the continent is so pronounced that it is generating torrential rain.

The Balkan states have been worst hit by the downpours, with the excessive rain causing a number of rivers to burst their banks.

Homes, roads and farmland have been flooded, with some areas suffering power cuts.

More heavy rain is expected across the region over the next few days, and hundreds of houses remain under threat of flooding.

Residents have also been warned of the possibility of landslides and road blockages from falling rocks.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies