Friday, February 3, 2012

Bongiorno, Inverno: Rare Snow Falls on Rome as Europe Experiences Deep Freeze

As a large part of the United States enjoys uncommonly mild winter weather, parts of Europe are stuck in the Deep Freeze.

Rare, thick snowflakes fell upon the Eternal City of Rome, Italy, today, prompting the shutdown of major tourist attractions in the city, included the famed Colosseum, for fear that tourists would fall down in the icy conditions. The Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, the former home of Rome's ancient emperors, were also closed for tourists during the extremely rare snow day for Bella Roma, a city which is usually blessed with a more temperate, mild climate.

Elsewhere in Europe, countries are faring far worse, with frigid temperatures and heavy snowfalls battering a large portion of the continent. Hundreds of deaths have been reported throughout the Ukraine and parts of Russia, as the cold hits the homeless community as well as an aging population the hardest. Exacerbating the condition are rolling blackouts, caused by the extreme dip in the temperatures as well as ice and high winds.

Istanbul, Turkey, was paralyzed by heavy snows and high winds, which snarled traffic and suspended the all-important passenger ferry boats on the Bosporus and Marmara Sea. Serbia declared a national state of emergency, as heavy snow pounded the region, knocking out power to over 100,000 homes.

A ferocious winter blizzard was predicted to hit Colorado and the Plain States in the US, with a potentially record-breaking winter storm set to dump unprecedented snows on Denver, with winter weather warnings out for at least five other states. In the south, heavy rains and tornadoes are expected.

There's just something about the weather....

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