A snowstorm brought more than a foot of snow to parts of the Balkan Peninsula from Sunday into Monday, while rare snowfall blanketed Rome.
Cold air racing from Siberia all the way through much of Europe set the stage for this uncommon snowfall.
Schools were closed and public transportation was impacted in and around Rome on Monday as people woke up to a winter wonderland, according to the Associated Press. Many schools remained closed on Tuesday due to lingering icy conditions.
A man stands in front of the ancient Colosseum blanketed by the snow in Rome, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Snow fell all the way to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, with numerous reports of 2-8 cm (1-3 inches) around Rome. Locally higher amounts were reported in the higher terrain.
Italy’s civil protection agency deployed the army to clear streets in the capital after the snowfall paralyzed Rome.
Shawn Roser, from Venice, Florida, a student at the North American college in Rome, throws a snowball as he plays in a snow blanketed St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Popular tourist spots were instead used for sled races and snowball fights.
The snow also caused disruption and closures across parts of northern and central Italy, as well as the Balkan Peninsula.
People enjoy the snow in the ancient Roman Circus Maximus, in Rome, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Snow continued to fall across parts of the Balkan Peninsula on Tuesday, where totals in excess of 25 cm (10 inches) have already been reported in parts of northern Greece, Macedonia and Bulgaria.
Snowfall was also reported all the way to the coast in parts of Greece, including Thessaloniki, on Monday.
Despite dodging the heaviest snowfall, some schools were closed in Croatia on Monday and around 1,000 soldiers were deployed to help with snow removal in the hardest-hit areas that are still recovering from a snowstorm last week.
A state of natural disaster has been declared in Bihać and Cazin, Bosnia and Herzegovina as a result of the snow and frigid conditions.
Another storm will bring additional snowfall to parts of the Balkan Peninsula Tuesday night into Wednesday.
Light snow is expected from northern Greece into Macedonia, western Bulgaria and western Romania, while another round of heavy snow targets eastern Bulgaria into eastern Romania.
An additional 8-15 cm (3-6 inches) of snow is expected in these areas, including Burgas and Varna, Bulgaria, and Bucharest, Romania.
Source: By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist