Cold snap creates picture-perfect moments amid travel chaos in snow-covered Europe
As parts of Australia sweat through another long, hot summer, any sort of cool change might seem welcome.
- Up to 120 flights were cancelled at Munich Airport in Germany
- A ski tournament in Austria was pulled after too much snow fell
- Significant snowfall is forecast for Germany, Austria and Switzerland this week
But, as residents in several European countries can attest, you should be careful what you wish for.
The continent has been hit by heavy snowfall, with freezing conditions and travel disruptions striking over the weekend.
Snow caused travel chaos in parts of Germany and Austria as authorities closed roads and train routes because of avalanche danger, and airports reported weather-related cancellations on Saturday (local time).
Munich Airport — Germany’s second biggest — said 120 flights were cancelled and others were delayed while workers cleared runways of snow and removed ice from planes.
In Austria, training and the qualification stage for the annual Four Hills ski jump tournament was cancelled after more than 50 centimetres of fresh snow fell overnight.
Greece was also hit by a cold snap, with snow falling in the country’s north. (Reuters: Giorgos Moutafis)
Authorities closed roads around Bischofshofen, where the competition is being held.
Austrian railway company OeBB said several train connections in the country were suspended due to the avalanche risk.
Up to 120 flights were grounded at Germany’s Munich Airport over the weekend. (Reuters: Andreas Gerbert)
Salzburg regional authorities warned against off-trail skiing, adding that “several very large avalanches are likely in the afternoon and overnight” that could affect roads and rail lines.
Austrian public broadcaster ORF reported that the small village of St. Johann was evacuated because authorities feared strong winds could trigger a large avalanche.
Meanwhile, up to 600 residents and tourists were stuck in the village of Soelktal following a road closure, the station reported.
Innsbruck airport said “current weather conditions had caused major restrictions in air traffic” and urged travellers to check their flight status before heading to the airport.
Serbia’s snow-blanketed streets make a striking contrast to Australia’s summer. (AP: Darko Vojinovic)
Authorities in Greece reported travel disruptions due to snowfall in the north of the country.
Significant snowfall is forecast for southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland over the next few days.