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Snow to return to Southern Europe, thunderstorms in US, deadly storm in Pakistan

Staff Writer |
Mild weather across southeastern Europe will not last beyond late this week as a major blast of cold air is set to arrive by this weekend and bring the risk for snowfall with it.

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The cold air and snow will come as a shock to many following a very mild February across the region.

Temperatures for the month of February have averaged 2-4 degrees Celsius (3-7 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal across much of southeastern Europe and western Turkey.

High temperatures on Friday will climb to around 16 C (60 F) in Athens and struggle to reach 7 C (45 F) by Sunday.

While snow is likely to fall and accumulate in the mountains north and west of Athens, the city itself can expect rain on Saturday to mix with snow or even change to a period of snow Saturday night before a continued mix of rain and snow falls through the end of the weekend.

“A brief coating of snow is possible, mainly on non-paved surfaces and at night,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.

In Thessaloniki, rain Saturday morning will mix with and change to a period of snow Saturday afternoon into Saturday evening and may accumulate a coating to 2 cm (1 inch).

Farther east, snow will be a threat in southeastern Bulgaria and northwestern Turkey.

A period of snow will whiten southeastern Bulgaria, including Burgas, from Friday night into Saturday morning, with generally a coating to 5 cm (2 inches) expected.

Snow will be more widespread and prolonged across northwestern Turkey.

In the hardest-hit areas in the mountains of Greece and northwestern Turkey, more than 30 cm (12 inches) of snow is possible by the end of the day on Sunday.

The death toll stands at 26 after a powerful storm unloaded torrential rain across Pakistan at midweek.

Many of the fatalities occurred when the victims were swept away by floodwaters or killed by roofs collapsing, according to the Associated Press.

Four of those killed by roofs failing amid the heavy rain were in the city of Multan in central Pakistan.

Multan recorded 22 mm (0.86 of an inch) of rain during the storm. That is around the typical rainfall the city measures during all of February.

Earlier in the week, another storm delivered 6.9 mm (0.27 of an inch) of rain.

Most of the deaths occurred in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Children were among the 14 lives lost in the province.

Weekend severe thunderstorms can pack a punch with damaging winds, large hail and dangerous tornadoes from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Tennessee and Ohio valleys.

"The areal coverage of the storm threat area is similar to that of the Feb. 5-6, 2008, Super Tuesday tornado outbreak," according to AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer.

Reed and other meteorologists at AccuWeather are concerned for a significant outbreak of severe weather that includes fast-moving storms and some tornadoes centered on Saturday and into Saturday night.

A storm blasting through the country is expected to bring blizzard conditions to a swath of the Plains while warmth surges across the South Central states and into part of the Midwest.

The storm will tap into the same moisture that has been fueling widespread flash flooding and river flooding across the region this past week. The storm threat includes the risk of new flooding. Additionally, conditions will be right for severe storms to form.

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