Severe cold weather has struck Germany and the Netherlands due to unusual wind conditions.
The mixture of icy polar air in northern Germany and very mild spring air in the southern regions has formed a polar vortex and caused heavy snowfall and paralyzed traffic in several areas.
The German Weather Service (DWD) reported that Berlin, Brandenburg, Northeast Hesse, Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt were largely affected by the heavy snowfall and below zero temperatures.
The lowest temperature recorded over the weekend was -16C in the Harz mountain range in Saxony-Anhalt while temperatures in the city are expected to experience sudden drops as well.
The DWD also said at least a week of freezing permafrost on the ground is expected.
In the Netherlands, Dutch meteorological agency KNMI declared a rare “Code Red” warning nationwide after Storm Darcy blew winds of up to 90km an hour and caused a sharp drop in temperatures.
Darcy is the Netherlands’s first snowstorm in a decade and disrupted air, rail and road traffic.
Train operator NS said that all lines going in and out of the country were canceled until midnight due to the harsh weather.
COVID-19 testing centers and schools were closed while citizens were urged to stay indoors as 5cm to 10cm of snow blanketed most of the country.
Up to 10 days of sub-zero temperatures are expected in the Netherlands which are expected to freeze most of its canals and waterways.
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