Greece is up for another intense snowstorm this weekend as a new cold outbreak is pushed across the Balkan peninsula. Locally up to 40-50 cm of fresh snow seems likely until Sunday, combined with huge snow drifts due to strong to severe winds. Blowing snow and blizzard / whiteout conditions are expected.
The overall 500 mbar pattern indicates an extensive ridge across the west-central and northern Europe, while a short wave trough pushes along the eastern flank of the ridge across the Balkan peninsula into the S Mediterranean. Very cold airmass will spread behind the surface cold front and conditions will become favorable for snowfall and intense blizzard conditions.
3-hour sequence of precipitation type – snowfall starts across Bulgaria and northeast Greece tonight – Friday night / Saturday morning and it continues spreading southwest across Greece during the day (Saturday) as the cold front pushes through.
Based on the several models (GFS, ICON-EU, ARPEGE) the accumulated snowfall will be quite significant in places, especially near the mountain ranges where orographic / Stau-effect will be maximized. Some areas could receive up to 40-60 cm of fresh snow within a 24-36 hour period! Quite some snow will also accumulate across parts of Serbia, Albania, Bosnia&Herzegovina and also higher terrains of southern Italy.
Strong pressure and temperature gradient between the high pressure across east-central Europe and the cyclone across the south Mediterranean will result is strong to locally severe winds. This will result in extreme blizzard conditions, blowing snow will significantly reduce the visibility and huge snow drifts are expected to form. Peak wind gusts will reach up to 90-110 km/h.
A combination of a very cold airmass and strong to severe northeast winds will strongly enhance the windchill temperatures, likely below -25 °C in many areas.