Eastern Europe is currently enjoying its coldest weather since 1979. Temperatures in Moscow have been below minus 20 C (that’s minus 5 Fahrenheit for our American readers) for a week straight now, with regular visits to minus 30 (minus 22 Fahrenheit). In Bucharest, where we live, it’s currently minus 9 Celsius; that will drop to minus 14, or about plus 8 Fahrenheit, later tonight. To give some perspective on that, you should know that most of the houses in our neighborhood have arbors full of grape vines, and roses were blooming in our yard at the beginning of December.
It’s cold. Over 100 people have died in Russia. I’m in Pristina, Kosovo at the moment, and it’s right around minus 15 as the sun goes down. I won’t even convert that to Fahrenheit — it’s too depressing — but there’s a stiff wind blowing sinister little arcs of snow around the roads, and I’m really not in a hurry to go outside again.
The weather is coming from a cold air mass with sharply defined edges. Just a couple of hundred kilometers south and west of me, Tirana (Albania) is enjoying a balmy +3 Celsius. The cold air has been gradually creeping westward, so right now the edge seems to be somewhere in Germany; Prague and Berlin are getting whacked, but France is still pleasantly warm. It’s possible that the whole thing may dissipate without reaching further. In which case it won’t ever be much of a news story because, you know… Eastern Europe.
Ah, don’t mind me. Weather like this makes me paranoid. Because Mother Nature is trying to kill me…
Who else is sitting under that blue-white splotch on the map? Consider this an open thread for weather talk.