Western Balkans End 2014 on Arctic Note

31 Dec 14
Western Balkans End 2014 on Arctic Note

The Western Balkans said goodbye to 2014 in bone-chilling weather – with thermometers dipping to minus 20 – or even minus 30 – in some parts of the region.

Sven Milekic

After a relatively mild December, freezing winds blasted Croatia on New Year’s Eve, prompting the health ministry to warning the elderly not spend unnecessary time outdoors, and to wrap up.

In some mountain areas temperatures fell below -20 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, with the lowest recorded at St Jure, on the peak of Mt Biokovo on the Adriatic coast, registering -20.8 degrees.

Slatina in eastern continental Croatia was not much milder, with temperatures there plunging to -20 degrees.

Even normally warm Split on the Adriatic coast was -17 degrees, owing to a freezing north-easterly wind, blowing at hurricane speeds of 126km per hour.

Icy temperatures caused delays and cancellations on railways, while some ferry boat connections to the islands on the Adriatic were also cancelled due to the winds.

The entire region is feeling a mid-winter chill. Montenegro has also experienced low temperatures for country with a Mediterranean climate, with winds there blowing at over 90km per hour.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, snowfall has closed some roads, while the weather service has predicted that temperatures could go as low as -30 degrees in some mountain areas on New Year’s Day.

Strong northeasterly winds blowing at 100km per hour blew through the city of Mostar in Herzegovina, breaking trees and overturning trucks on Wednesday.

Several families have been snowed in for five days in villages near Mostar, waiting for the authorities to send snowploughs to clear the roads to their homes.

The town of Zajecar in eastern Serbia was officially the coldest place in Serbia, with temperatures dipping to -16 degrees. Two people reportedly died there from frostbite on Tuesday.

Many other parts of Serbia will also experience bone-chilling temperatures of around -20 degrees in the following days. Relief is in sight, however. Temperatures are expected to rise from Saturday onwards.

Novi Sad, Serbia. | Photo by Beta

Nis, Serbia. | Photo by Beta

Novi Sad, Serbia. | Photo by Beta

Belgrade, Serbia. | Photo by Darko Vojinovic/AP

Belgrade, Serbia. | Photo by Darko Vojinovic/AP

Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)