By Eric Leister, AccuWeather meteorologist
January 3,2017, 12:14:06PM,EST
A long-duration blast of arctic air will create dangerous conditions across eastern Europe into early next week.
Some locations will have the lowest temperatures in several years, while others contend with bitter cold for almost a week straight.
Locations from the Baltic states and Belarus southward to Italy and Greece will be impacted by the dangerous arctic air.
“The intensity of the cold, combined with its long duration, will create dangerous conditions for outdoor activities,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said.
A low temperature of minus 22 C (minus 7 F) is expected in Minsk, Belarus, on Friday night while the high will only climb to minus 16 C (3 F) both Friday and Saturday. This will mark the coldest conditions since January 2014.
Other locations that will have to contend with the arctic blast include Warsaw, Poland; Kiev, Ukraine; Bucharest, Romania; and Sofia, Bulgaria.
Thessaloniki, Greece, located on the coast of the Aegean Sea, will have a high temperature of minus 2 C (28 F) on Saturday before temperatures fall to minus 10 C (14 F) on Saturday night. This would be the coldest air to reach the city since January 2006.
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“In addition to the severe cold, the southern Balkan Peninsula will have to contend with a significant snowstorm from Thursday to Saturday which will enhance the cold air and cause travel disruptions,” Roys said.
“The hardest-hit areas are expected to be from Albania through Bulgaria where some locations could receive 30 cm (12 inches) of snow,” he said.
The chill will also reach Italy where snow will be in the air from Ancona to Bari westward into the Apennines.
While no snow is expected in Rome, temperatures will tumble dramatically late in the week. The high temperature on Friday and Saturday will only be near 5 C (41 F). The normal high temperature in early January is around 12 C (53 F).
The arctic chill will remain locked over the region through the weekend before slowly moderating during the first half of next week.