- Title: VARIOUS: Snow blankets much of Europe
- Date: 18th December 2009
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (DECEMBER 17, 2009) (REUTERS) ARC DE TRIOMPHE IN THE SNOW CARS DRIVING THROUGH SNOW PEDESTRIANS WALKING THROUGH SNOW BUS PASSENGERS GETTING OFF BUS VARIOUS OF PIGEONS IN THE SNOW VARIOUS OF EIFFEL TOWER IN THE SNOW LAMP COVERED IN SNOW CROW FORAGING FOR FOOD CITY WORKERS GRITTING PATHS PLACE DE LA CONCORDE VARIOUS OF FOUNTAINS COVERED IN SNOW ARC DE TRIOMPHE BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (DECEMBER 17, 2009) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF ROYAL PALACE, SNOW FALLING BELGIAN FLAG ON TOP OF ROYAL PALACE, SNOW FALLING VARIOUS OF RUNNERS JOGGING IN PARK, SNOW FALLING STATUE OF LION, SNOW FALLING BENCH COVERED WITH SNOW PEOPLE WALKING IN SNOW ROYAL PALACE, SNOW FALLING CARS AT STANDSTILL, BOY SLIDING ON ROAD IN FRONT OF CAR
- Embargoed: 2nd January 2010 12:00
- Topics: Weather
- Reuters ID: LVA6KUZG8F98MYS6VI32CE4CK6VS
- Story Text: Much of Europe is covered in a thick blanket of snow, making driving conditions difficult but raising hopes of a white Christmas.
Residents in many parts of Europe woke up on Thursday (December 17) to find their cities and streets covered in a thick blanket of snow.
In the Netherlands, all parts of the country were affected, and driving conditions were hazardous. Cycling was also difficult and one newspaper boy, trying to deliver newspapers on his bicycle, had to abandon his bike and continue his work on foot.
Despite the difficulties, many school children enjoyed a morning of snowball fights in the playground.
Further east, Poland has also been in the grip of heavy snowfall and freezing weather with temperatures in some areas dipping to below ten degrees centigrade. In cities such as Warsaw and Lodz traffic came to a virtual standstill as city employees worked to try and clear the streets.
On a highway close to Wroclaw in the southwest of the country, two trucks lay on their sides on the edge of the road after a traffic accident.
In France, the snow sweeping through northwest Europe left Paris looking like something out of a fairy tale, a week ahead of Christmas.
Approximately five centimetres of snow fell on the capital, leaving its famous landmarks covered in a smattering of white powder that emphasised their grandeur.
But pedestrians were left slipping and sliding, traffic was snarled up and animals obliged to forage for food among the snow.
The French capital does not get snow every year and meteorologists say it is rare for it to fall in December. Much of the north of the country was left blanketed in a thick layer, with about 51 departments (counties) on alert.
Residents in Brittany and the Provence region of southern France have been warned that they may face power cuts lasting up to two hours if the bad weather continues. Officials at electricity distribution network RTE have said the cuts could affect tens of thousands of people at a time if they come.
Next door in Belgium, heavy snow fell in Brussels on Thursday afternoon, raising hopes of a white Christmas this year.
But the freezing conditions in the royal park were not enough to deter midday joggers.
The meteorological office had predicted Thursday's snow earlier in the week and the determined runners were well prepared and covered up.
Belgium's Royal Weather Institute (IRM) says on its website that the snow has fallen across the centre of the country and is slowly moving eastwards.
Outside Brussels roads suffered major traffic slow downs because of the snow and led to major delays with tailbacks in Flanders going back for over 250 kilometres.
The IRM predicts that temperatures will drop below zero over the next two days and says there could well be more snow over the weekend, the last shopping opportunity before Christmas.
Many parts of the United Kingdom have also been hit by snow showers but heavier snow is predicted for Friday. The Meteorological Office has issued severe weather warnings for many parts of the country and driving conditions are expected to be at their worst on Friday morning.
The Met Office said it could not yet predict whether the U.K. would have a white Christmas.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None