|Belgrade, winter 2012|
Photo from the Kuwait Times
The Met Office in the U.K. has issued a Level 2 alert that there is a 100% probability of severe cold weather between Thursday and Sunday, with temperatures dipping as low as -6 to -10 Celsius. Their alert levels depend on three thresholds: mean temperatures below 2 C for 48 hours or longer, heavy snow, widespread ice. Only one of the three needs to occur before an alert is issued. A level three alert means prolonged periods of cold weather, and triggers some specific actions by social and healthcare services to target high-risk groups. The highest level, 4, means that the weather is so severe that even the healthy could suffer adverse effects and that the effects are so broad that they extend outside the health and social care system. The Met forecast for Belgrade, for example is for a maximum temperature of -10 C and a minimum of -12 C today and tonight. Things then "warm up" to negative single digits through Monday. Bucharest is even colder, at -12 to -14 today, and -7 to -10 tomorrow.
It is very rewarding to know that people actually read this blog! Shortly after I posted this morning on the situation in Europe, I received a comment from Siim Sepp in Estonia:
At least 150 people have died in Europe as a result of this deep freeze in countries spanning from Italy to the Ukraine. Temperatures plunged to -32 C (-25.6 F) in Poland overnight. In Ukraine, tens of thousands of people are in shelters.