Freezing cold in March

Mercury dipped to -18 degrees C at Joseni, Harghita County, yesterday morning, the lowest temperature nationwide.

According to the calendar, spring has come already, yet Romania is still in the grip of winter, with snow Sunday night into early Monday causing major problems on the nation’s roads. Temperature dropped to -18 C at Joseni, Harghita, yesterday morning, the lowest across the nation. Frosty weather gripped the whole of Harghita County, with temperatures as low as -17 C at Miercurea Ciuc and -15 C, at Toplita. Mercury dropped to -13 C at Bucin, and the snow layer was 56 cm-deep. Meteorologists however are not worried about such developments, suggesting worse could have happened. Last year, they say, temperature stood at -23 C at Miercurea Ciuc. This is also where the all-time March low of -29 C was recorded in 1986.

Caught by surprise, several drivers got stuck in the snow on the roads, with DN 13A witnessing the most severe gridlock of all Sunday night into Monday morning, where vehicle traffic came to a halt for about four hours between Odorheiu Secuiesc and Corund, as several trucks lacking appropriate tires could not move forward through snow. The traffic was backed up for nearly one and a half kilometres.

“Traffic unfolds over a layer of snow 1 cm-deep on DN 13A, between Cozmeni and Targu Secuiesc, and on DN 12A, Fagetel-Lunca de Jos. Snow is 2 centimetre deep on the Gheor­ghieni – Lacu Rosu stretch of DN12A, where the snow was treated with anti-drift agent. Snow-clearing has been on since Saturday evening,” Mediafax quoted Catalin Romanescu, head of the Harghita National Roads department, as saying.
Meteorologists say spring is yet to come. Until Thursday, at the soonest, temperatures will not exceed 4-5 C. Weather is expected to get slightly warmer towards the end of the week, when snow will only be spotty. Weekend temperatures are expected to go up to 9-10 C, Antena 3 reports.

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