Cold wintry weather sweeps over central Europe

Spring warmth is on hold across Europe as cold weather brings snow to parts of Germany, Austria and the Balkans.

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    Parts of central Europe have had a late taste of winter over the past few days.

    This comes after a spell of warm weather saw spring blossom burst through in many parts of the continent as the days start to lengthen throughout the northern hemisphere.

    Only 10 days ago the temperature in central London touched 25C. Highs were back down around the seasonal average of 13C on Tuesday.

    There was a similar contrast in Brussels with a top temperature on 23C on April 9. The high was nearer 10C by Tuesday.

    That was actually four degrees below the April average of 14C.

    The warmth in Belgium prompted the apple and pear blossom to come out about 10 days early this year.

    Recent nights have seen the temperature fall close to freezing.

    The wintry mix is forecast to drift across the Hungarian Plain [Balazs Mohai/EPA]

    Efforts have been made to protect the blossom but some damage is inevitable. The trees are usually sprayed with water before a frost.

    They then freeze over so when the temperature drops further the young buds remain protected.  This technique has been used in Italy for some time now.

    However, the current water scarcity in Trento, northern Italy, means that they have not been able to protect their delicate fruit this time around.

    Those areas in northern Italy, across the Alps and into the Balkans have been cold enough for some significant and even heavy snowfalls. Some parts of the higher ground have recorded up to a metre of fresh snow over the past few days.

    Temperatures have been as much as 10 to 15 degrees below average across the region. Vienna has been particularly cold, with temperatures struggling to reach 3C or 4C. The April average is 15C.

    It will be the weekend before those temperatures get anywhere near double figures. We can expect highs of nearer 19C by Tuesday.

    The current spell of thundery downpours, rain, sleet and snow still extends from the Alps to the Balkans.

    The wintry mix is forecast to drift across the Hungarian Plain over the next few days, allowing that return to spring warmth.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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