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Southern Germany and Austria will be digging out from major snowstorm

Staff Writer |
While disruptive snow will sweep through eastern Europe Friday into this weekend, residents of far southern Germany and Austria will be digging out from a more significant and major snowstorm.

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A burying amount of snowfall is far from unheard of across the Alps, but this snowstorm can bring major disruptions to travel and daily routines in lower elevation cities such as Munich and Rosenheim, Germany, and Linz and Salzburg, Austria.

"There will be an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of a meter (3 feet) of snow that will bury the Alps Thursday night into Monday," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis. "That will be great news for the ski resorts, but travel to the slopes will be extremely difficult."

"Gusty winds can create near-blizzard conditions in the Alps and foothills," he added.

Conditions may get so adverse that officials may be forced to close roads.

Difficult travel is also anticipated in Munich, where 15-30 cm (6-12 inches) of snow can pile up through Saturday. Roads and sidewalks may start to turn slippery on Friday, but most of the snow and travel problems are anticipated on Friday night and Saturday.

Those planning to travel to festivities on Epiphany Eve on Saturday may want to consider alternate plans.

Not only will roads become clogged by the snow and difficult to navigate through, but motorists will also face dramatically reduced visibility as gusty winds whip around the snow.

While the snow continues to pile up in the foothills and mountains to the south, temperatures in Munich and neighboring lower elevation will rise enough for the snow to mix with or change to rain from Saturday night to Sunday.

That should limit how much additional snow accumulates during this period, but roads and sidewalks not yet plowed can still be slushy and slippery for a time.

A turn to all snow should follow for Sunday night into Monday, yielding an additional 2-8 cm (1-3 inches). On top of the snow, the slush already on the ground can freeze and turn icy for Monday morning as temperatures drop below freezing.

Monday night will bring another period of slush freezing and creating more treacherous travel, even after the snowstorm ends.

Firefighters were called out more than 800 times after strong winds and heavy snowfall hit parts of Poland on Wednesday, a spokesman has said.

High winds lashed the country’s northern regions, while snow paralysed much of southern Poland, Paweł Frątczak, a spokesman for the State Fire Service, said on Thursday morning.

Firefighters were kept busy removing fallen trees and securing buildings against flooding amid rising water levels in some areas in the northern part of the country.

Some 1,600 customers were left without electricity at one point after fierce winds toppled trees and disrupted power supplies, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported, citing Anna Adamkiewicz from the Government Centre for Security.

No injuries were reported.

Snow and freezing temperatures have hitten the usually hot southern Italian holiday spot of Naples on Thursday as shocked locals posted videos of the extreme weather conditions online.

The sudden snow shower hit Naples, Italy, on Thursday as a new weather system brought extremely cold conditions to most of the European countries on the Mediterranean. Naples residents filmed the bizarre weather conditions incredulous of what was happening as the southern Italian city is rarely hit by very cold temperatures.

The volcano Mount Vesuvius was covered in snow to the bemusement of locals and tourists were surprised by the stunning scenery of the archaeological site of Pompeii under a white blanket.

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