A significant Arctic blast is affecting almost entire Europe and parts of northern Africa. Some regions are dealing with heavy snow, below-freezing temperatures and late-season frost. Another blast of cold air is expected from May 11 to 18, with more heavy rain and snow.
Temperatures plunged close to and below zero in many places, with many record low temperatures reported.
Higher altitudes of Germany (above 700 m / 2 300 feet) saw some snow on May 4 but significant amounts were registered in the Alps with up to 30 cm (1 feet) or more. Heavy snowfall was reported mostly in northern Italy and Slovenia on May 5 and 6.
Two people were killed and another is missing after high winds and heavy rain hit Italy and France on May 5. One kitesurfer was killed in Sicily, Italy after an 'unexpected' gust of wind smashed him against a parked car as he tried to go into the sea. Another person was killed in France after being swept away by high waves on the island of Corsica. The third casualty is a man who ended up in waters of the canal between Mincio and Pozzolo, Italy during a fishing trip.
Gorgeous spring #snowy scene at Lago Di Braies, South Tyrol, Northern Italy this morning 5th of May.... This was captured at 1496 meters elevation. Photo by: Elena Panzeri via @cycloneorhodes #severeweather #extremeweather pic.twitter.com/psKTZrIEGD— WEATHER/ METEO WORLD (@StormchaserUKEU) May 5, 2019
WOW.... What difference a day makes holds strong in Oberstdorf, Germany. (#Spring to back in the freezer in the space of 1 day) Photo reported this morning 5th of May! Via @iMeteo.sk (FB) #severeweather #extremeweather pic.twitter.com/M9GimxQT22— WEATHER/ METEO WORLD (@StormchaserUKEU) May 5, 2019
Severe Weather Europe meteorologists are calling it 'powerful and historic outbreak of very cold Arctic maritime airmass.'
"In the wake of the cold front, the skies will at least partially clear which will allow temperatures to plunge into negative values again tonight [May 5]. Under clear night skies, the ground will cool and strong frost is expected in all areas with clear and partly clear skies! As we are in early May, widespread frost damage is likely to result across vineyards and agriculture, similar to what was locally observed on Sunday morning!"
Below average temperatures will continue over the next 10 - 12 days with another blast of cold air hitting the continent from May 11 to May 18.
Heavy snow is expected across the Alps, northern Italy and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
GFS forecast models
Featured image credit: @thierryboisseau33 / Météo Pyrénées