2006 European cold wave

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The 2006 European cold wave was an unusual cold wave which resulted in abnormal winter conditions over much of Europe. Southern Europe saw cold and snow, while places in northern Norway saw abnormally mild conditions.[1] The phenomenon started on 20 January in Russia with temperatures below -40 °C and extended to Central Europe where parts of Poland, Slovakia and Austria saw temperatures drop below -30 °C. The cold resulted in the deaths of up to 50 people in Russia and a significant death toll in Eastern Europe including Moldova and Romania.[2] The abnormal conditions gradually abated towards the end of the month.

Temperatures recorded during the cold snap[edit]

Near freezing temperatures were also noted in the Balearic Islands, Western North Africa, and in extreme southern Spain.

Snow in southern Europe[edit]

The anticyclone responsible for the cold temperatures brought snow to much of southern Europe. Algiers saw their first snow in over forty years and the snow brought icy and slippery conditions on the roads.[4] A large portion of Greece also saw snow and Athens had a significant snowfall which cut off remote outlying areas, and the island of Limnos also received measurable snow.[1]

The Balearic Islands had snow and freezing temperatures which resulted in the closure of the airport on Majorca.[5]

On 29 January, snow fell in Lisbon for the first time in 54 years. Snow began falling in the early morning in seaside towns like Figueira da Foz in central Portugal, and the storm reached down to the south to Algarve. Other towns with a record snowfall were Leiria, Santarém, Évora, Setúbal, Portalegre, Sesimbra, Palmela, Fátima, Pombal, Abrantes, Torres Novas and Ourém. Highways and roads were closed, and hundreds of people were evacuated from their vehicles in Montejunto. The storm caused a power-outage in Elvas and other parts of the Alentejo region. In Lisbon, the city government demanded that subway stations remain open overnight, so that homeless people could find shelter. Much of the south remained at 0 °C by midday though the north of the country had temperatures of 5-10 °C.


  1. ^ a b Saary, Elizabeth (April 28, 2005). "Weather News". BBC. Archived from the original on April 28, 2005. Retrieved August 13, 2006. 
  2. ^ a b Kole, William J. (January 24, 2006). "Deadly cold wave sweeps across Europe". USA Today. 
  3. ^ "Lämpimin ja kylmin paikka vuosittain - Ilmatieteen laitos". Ilmatieteenlaitos.fi. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 
  4. ^ Farrow, Jo (August 28, 2006). "Cold Plunge of Winter Continues". BBC. Archived from the original on August 28, 2006. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  5. ^ Wilmshurst, Sarah (June 13, 2006). "Winter in Europe". BBC. Archived from the original on June 13, 2006. Retrieved August 13, 2006.