Home TRAVEL Heavy snow snarls travel in northern Europe – CNN

Heavy snow snarls travel in northern Europe – CNN

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A couple walk on a snowy sidewalk on Place de la Concorde in Paris, on March 12, during a heavy snow storm. Twenty-six regions in northwest and northern France were put on orange alert because of heavy snowfall.A couple walk on a snowy sidewalk on Place de la Concorde in Paris, on March 12, during a heavy snow storm. Twenty-six regions in northwest and northern France were put on orange alert because of heavy snowfall.
Cows search for edible grass in drought-stricken paddocks on March 12, in Waiuku, New Zealand. Drought was declared in several North Island areas last week including South Auckland, Northland, Bay of Plenty and Waikato.Cows search for edible grass in drought-stricken paddocks on March 12, in Waiuku, New Zealand. Drought was declared in several North Island areas last week including South Auckland, Northland, Bay of Plenty and Waikato.
Brief but heavy snow storms move across the Yorkshire moors on Monday, March 11, in the United Kingdom. View more weather images from around the world.Brief but heavy snow storms move across the Yorkshire moors on Monday, March 11, in the United Kingdom. View more weather images from around the world.
A nun walks through the rain under an umbrella as she makes her way through Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on Sunday, March 10. A nun walks through the rain under an umbrella as she makes her way through Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Sunday, March 10.
A cyclist makes his way along a snowy track near Ladmanlow, United Kingdom, on March 10 as a return of freezing temperatures and snow delay springtime weather for Great Britain.A cyclist makes his way along a snowy track near Ladmanlow, United Kingdom, on March 10 as a return of freezing temperatures and snow delay springtime weather for Great Britain.
A Chinese woman covers her head with a scarf as she walks near Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Saturday, March 9, as strong winds and dust storms swept the Chinese capital.A Chinese woman covers her head with a scarf as she walks near Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Saturday, March 9, as strong winds and dust storms swept the Chinese capital.
Drivers contend with a snow-covered street in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, on March 9.Drivers contend with a snow-covered street in Harbin, capital of northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, on March 9.
Fog shrouds a dog and its owner as they walk beside Bourne Brook, in Toft Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, on Friday, March 8. Fog shrouds a dog and its owner as they walk beside Bourne Brook, in Toft Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, on Friday, March 8.
A pedestrian walks past a mural at the beginning of a winter storm in Somerville, Massachusetts, on Thursday, March 7.A pedestrian walks past a mural at the beginning of a winter storm in Somerville, Massachusetts, on Thursday, March 7.
People walk as snow falls at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, March 6.People walk as snow falls at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, March 6.
People stand under the snow-covered "Cloud Gate" sculpture, commonly known as "the bean," on Tuesday, March 5, in Chicago, Illinois.People stand under the snow-covered “Cloud Gate” sculpture, commonly known as “the bean,” on Tuesday, March 5, in Chicago, Illinois.
Left to right: Anthony Jordan and his 6-year-old twin sons Griffin and Landin shovel their driveway in Sycamore, Illinois, on March 5. Left to right: Anthony Jordan and his 6-year-old twin sons Griffin and Landin shovel their driveway in Sycamore, Illinois, on March 5.
A traffic police officer patrols during heavy wind and snowfall in Kiev, Ukraine, on March 4.A traffic police officer patrols during heavy wind and snowfall in Kiev, Ukraine, on March 4.
Lightning strikes over Jakarta's skyline late on March 3 during monsoon rains.Lightning strikes over Jakarta’s skyline late on March 3 during monsoon rains.
Tourists enjoy donkey rides on Filey Beach on March 2 in Filey, England.Tourists enjoy donkey rides on Filey Beach on March 2 in Filey, England.
Gardener Ruth Calder clears weeds and dead leaves at Kew Gardens on March 1 in Kew, England.Gardener Ruth Calder clears weeds and dead leaves at Kew Gardens on March 1 in Kew, England.
A man covers his face as he walks around Tiananmen Square during a sand storm in heavily polluted weather in Beijing on February 28.A man covers his face as he walks around Tiananmen Square during a sand storm in heavily polluted weather in Beijing on February 28.
A man and a dog cross the flooded graveyard in the village of Monospitovo, Macedonia, on February 27. Torrential rains poured down on the Strumica Valley, destroying or damaging crops and households.A man and a dog cross the flooded graveyard in the village of Monospitovo, Macedonia, on February 27. Torrential rains poured down on the Strumica Valley, destroying or damaging crops and households.
Ducks fly over the frozen Titisee Lake in Titisee-Neustadt, Germany, on February 27.Ducks fly over the frozen Titisee Lake in Titisee-Neustadt, Germany, on February 27.
Frost-covered plants are seen on banks of the Usiazha River near the Belarus village of Usiazha, on February 26.Frost-covered plants are seen on banks of the Usiazha River near the Belarus village of Usiazha, on February 26.
A person walks through the snow at Marienplatz in Munich, Germany, on February 26.A person walks through the snow at Marienplatz in Munich, Germany, on February 26.

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London (CNN) — Swaths of northern Europe were in the grip of snow, ice and high winds Tuesday, causing serious disruption to road, rail and air travelers.

High-speed train operator Eurostar, which runs services linking Paris, Brussels and London, among other destinations, has canceled the rest of its services Tuesday and told passengers to stay at home.

“Severe weather conditions overnight in Northern France and Belgium have led to the closure of the high speed line,” a notice on the company’s website said.

“Passengers will not be able to travel on Eurostar services today and should not come to our stations.”

About 10,000 passengers are likely to be affected as a result of the cancellation of around 24 out of 27 scheduled trains Tuesday, Eurostar spokeswoman Lucy Drake said.

The bad weather may also affect services Wednesday, she said, with further cancellations or extended journey times possible

Passengers affected by the disruption will be offered exchanges or refunds, Drake said, and are urged to consider traveling next week if possible.

Air travel has also been hit, with Germany’s Frankfurt airport — a major European hub — canceling all flights for several hours as it worked to clear its runways.

Some 700 out of a total 1,238 flights have been canceled so far, affecting roughly 7,000 passengers, airport spokesman Christopher Holschier told CNN.

Two of Frankfurt’s four runways reopened for takeoff and landing as of 5 p.m. local time, Holschier said, but snow continues to fall.

Holschier said passengers were resigned to the situation as they were well aware of the adverse conditions. “Already, getting to the airport has been an ordeal,” he said.

Meanwhile, the official Twitter feed for the two main airports in Paris warned that travel disruptions in the French capital were making access to the airports difficult. However, train and bus services were starting to get back to normal in the afternoon, it said.

A quarter of flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle and one in five flights from Paris-Orly were canceled Tuesday in anticipation of the heavy snowfall, the two airports said Monday. Travelers were advised to check on their flight’s status before heading to the airport.

London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol airports have also reported snow in the past 24 hours.

Whiteout conditions

Late-winter blasts like these are nothing new for central Europe, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.

In fact, in Germany they have something known as M√§rzwinter, or “March winter,” said Miller. The phenomenon occurs in mid-March when, after a period of spring-like warmth early in the month that often sees trees and flowers begin to bloom, cold northerly winds bring mid-winter type weather back to the country.

True to form, last week there were seven consecutive days of above-average temperatures in Frankfurt.

The mercury peaked Saturday with a high of 17 degrees Celsius (about 62 degrees Fahrenheit), the kind of temperature usually expected in mid-May. On Tuesday, however, winter returned with a vengeance, dropping 12 centimeters (4.7 inches) of snow by noon.

In addition to the snow, winds have gusted to 50 and 60 kilometers per hour (31 to 37 mph), creating whiteout conditions and making travel even more difficult.

Northern France has taken the brunt of the storm, with some locations seeing up to 40 centimeters (about 16 inches) of snow. Gusty winds have created snow drifts a meter deep or more.

Meteo-France has issued a Red Warning — its highest level — for snow and ice through Wednesday morning.

The wintry blast also caused problems for motorists in southeast England, with some trapped in their vehicles overnight by accidents and road closures on icy highways in Kent and Sussex.

Conditions should improve by Wednesday, as the frontal system pushes south and loses some of its intensity, but the cold temperatures will remain through the end of the week.


Heavy snow snarls travel in northern Europe – CNN

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