Published on : Monday, January 9, 2017
This extreme temperature has caused major disruptions to power, water supplies and transport networks in recent days.
Temperatures as low as -26°C caused ice to form on the Adriatic Sea, the Danube and many smaller rivers, lakes and ponds.
At least 10 people have died of the cold in Poland in recent days, with temperatures plummeting below -20°C on Saturday.
Planes have been grounded and ferry services disrupted in several places across the continent. Heavy snow in Istanbul forced Turkish Airlines to cancel more than 650 flights. The Bosphorus Strait was also closed and ferries stopped completely.
Parts of Southern Italy were buried under a metre snow and schools were advised not to open on Monday, while in Rome, the fountains in St. Peter’s Square froze over.
It has also been the coldest Orthodox Christmas in Russia for 120 years, with thermometers reading -30°C overnight in Moscow, and -24°C in St. Petersburg.
Aid workers in Serbia helped hundreds of migrants sleeping rough in parks and makeshift shelters, and the authorities banned river traffic on the Danube because of the conditions.
Cold conditions are expected to hit the UK towards the end of this week, with snow a possibility across most of the country at some point. The wintry weather was expected to start in the north and spread southwards.
Steven Keates from the Met Office said that, some parts of UK could see “some pretty significant snow”.
In northern Europe, where residents are accustomed to sub-zero temperatures and snowy winters, Danish police warned about icy and slippery roads after dozens of minor traffic accidents.