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Snow chaos across Europe

LONDON, England -- Snow and ice continue to affect large areas of Europe, with Britain the latest country to suffer freezing conditions and chaos on the roads.

Six inches of snow fell in parts of Wales overnight on Wednesday as arctic conditions moved east across the country, blanketing the Midlands, the West Country and Gloucestershire.

Temperatures were forecast to stay below 5C (41F) in southern England on Thursday. Heavy snow continued to fall in parts of Scotland, which has suffered its coldest winter for five years with lows of -14C on Wednesday.

CNN Weather Anchor Guillermo Arduino summarised Europe's weather as: "Snow and freezing rain in the north and rain and wind in the south."

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Hundreds flee Italy mudslide threat
 

"We've seen over 15 centimetres of snow in Belfast and there is more snow on the way for the entire British region," he said.

"The heavy snow is expected in Scotland causing severe disruption especially for drivers. Wintry showers are forecast for coastal areas with very cold conditions, frost and freezing fog patches lingering."

He said that snow fell briefly in Paris, though not enough to cause significant accumulations on the ground, and there is still a slim chance of snow for many other areas in France.

"Scandinavia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine will have snow for a while. Moscow will see more snow still and very chilly air but the first days of the new year will be milder in the Russian capital and in most of Europe in general."

The Iberian peninsula is still very windy and wet, he said. "Over Italy there are some lingering clouds and showers, but northern Italy will see improving conditions as a high pressure centre starts to build in."

According to police in Berlin, 400 car accidents in the capital were caused by heavy snowfall on Christmas Day, though conditions in the city were said to be improving on Thursday.

In the south of Germany, falling rain froze to ice as it hit the ground, resulting in treacherous black ice.

The outlook for hundreds of holiday travellers who spent Christmas stranded at Milan's Malpensa airport improved as conditions there slowly returned to normal.

Multimedia Assistant Miguel Castro contributed to this report.



RELATED STORIES:
Hundreds flee Italy mudslide threat
December 28, 2000
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December 18, 2000
Ten die in mountain accidents
December 17, 2000

RELATED SITES:
UK Met Office
Meteorology, Berlin Free University
French meteorology
Northern Italian meteorology

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