The polar blast advances across E-CNTRL and SE Europe today, spreading into the central Mediterranean and causing low temperatures blizzard conditions, near-hurricane force Bora winds and intense sea-effect snowfall. Cold airmass and strong winds combine for intense winchills across much of the region as well.

The GFS model guidance below, displaying air temperature at about 1500 m altitude, shows the polar blast very well, advancing across the Balkans into central Mediterranean. A cutoff low forms over the S Balkans and E-CNTRL Mediterranean, persisting until the middle of next week before moving eastwards.

Windchill maps today reveal exceptional values across much of the eastern half of Europe. Below are today’s maps for the morning and late afternoon/early evening: values in the -40 to -50 °C range across NW Russia with values in the -20 to -35 °C range extending across much of eastern Europe, including the Baltic States, Belarus, W Ukraine, Slovakia, E Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria. Severe windchill extends across the Balkans and into the Apennine peninsula.

Our readers have sent numerous reports of blizzard conditions, intense snowfall and very strong to severe winds. Here are some (updated regularly):

Spectacular hurricane force Bora winds near bridge to island Pag, Croatia … gusts were exceeding 200 km/h!