Winter has hit Romania and the neighboring countries.
An unusually mild autumn, which, at the beginning of November, still allowed Romanians in the south of the country to go out in T-shirts, has turned, over the last few days, into an early winter episode, accompanied by the usual range of problems. The bad weather hit both Romania and the neighboring countries and disturbed road and rail traffic. In the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, the strong wind uprooted streets in many neighborhoods, and covered the city center in snow. The entire Balkan peninsula, from the south of Bosnia to North Macedonia, has been under a bad weather alert, with low temperatures and heavy snowfalls. There was a strong wind in Greece as well, even if temperatures remained positive during the day.
Heavy snowfalls were also reported in Hungary, and a few regions were covered by a thick layer of snow. Temperatures remain low there as well, and the strong wind makes the cold even more sharp. A cold air front from the north, anticipated by weather forecasters, makes the snow persistent. Difficult weather conditions were also reported in Ukraine, with heavy snow and blizzard in the north, including in the capital Kyiv, and with rain, sleet and strong wind in the south, more intense in Odessa and Nikolayev regions.
There were winter conditions also on the roads of the neighboring Republic of Moldova, where the authorities have warned that that rain in the form of sleet and snow makes it mandatory to equip vehicles with the appropriate tires. On the Black Sea there were wind gusts of 25 to 30 meters per second and waves of up to five meters high. On Sunday, a red code alert for snow and blizzard was issued for the counties in southeastern Romania. Dozens of national road sections were closed to traffic for all categories of vehicles.
The so-called Sun Motorway, which connects Bucharest to the Black Sea coast, was also closed for a while. Also on the roads in the southeast, many people were blocked in their cars, from where they had to be taken to shelter by the fire department. In the regions where the emergency vehicles could not advance due to the blizzard and snow, rescuers had to walk to the blocked cars. Students from the affected counties did not go to school on Monday. Classes have been suspended in all localities affected by the extreme weather phenomena.
The National Weather Administration has announced that, in the upcoming period, the weather will improve, but will remain specific to the winter season, with very low temperatures. (EE)