Frigid air, spilling south from the Arctic, has invaded Europe and Alaska, setting back spring and challenging long-standing records.
In Europe, the cold has come as a shock, gripping the region just days after a burst of summerlike warmth. Some areas that experienced their warmest March weather on record last week are now enduring the coldest April weather observed. Switzerland and Slovenia both established record low temperatures for April on Wednesday while Thursday morning brought a second straight morning of record cold to parts of France and Italy.
Meanwhile, the temperature in Alaska could plummet as low as minus-50 in the coming days, challenging the lowest mark recorded in the Last Frontier during April.
Extreme cold and snow in Europe
As an Arctic cold front plunged south Monday into Tuesday, temperatures tanked over much of Europe. By Wednesday morning, numerous locations in Central and Eastern Europe saw the mercury settle at April record lows.
Here are some of the cold extremes reported Wednesday:
* Slovenia endured its lowest April temperature on record, according to ARSO vreme, Slovenia’s meteorological agency. It tweeted that the mercury plummeted to minus-5.1 degrees (minus-20.6 Celsius) in Nova vas na Blokah, a village in the central part of the country.
* MétéoSuisse, Switzerland’s meteorological agency, tweeted the temperature toppled to minus-15.3 degrees (minus-26.3 Celsius) at Jungfraujoch, a tourist attraction 11,362 feet high in the Alps and home to Europe’s highest-elevation train station. It was the lowest temperature on record in April anywhere in the country. It also tweeted that a weather balloon measured a temperature of minus-38.4 degrees (minus-39.1 Celsius) at an altitude of roughly 17,388 feet (5,300 meters), the lowest recorded in April in Switzerland.
* Frosty conditions covered much of France early Wednesday, where numerous locations observed their lowest April temperature on record, according to Météo-France, the country’s meteorological agency. The low temperature averaged over the country was below freezing, near the coldest levels on record (since 1947) in early April.
* In the Italian Alps, near the border with Switzerland, the temperature fell to minus-27.8 degrees (minus-33.2 Celsius), the coldest on record in April, according to Etienne Kapikian, a meteorologist with Météo-France.
* Several locations in Croatia experienced their lowest-observed temperatures in April, according to Kapikian. Maximiliano Herrera, who tracks global temperature extremes, tweeted that the low temperature of 10.4 degrees (minus-12 Celsius) in Gospic, a town in the central Croatia, marked the lowest April temperature on record in a populated location in the country.
The United Kingdom had its coldest April night (Tuesday night into early Wednesday) since 2018 while, in England, it was the coldest since 2013, according to the U.K. Met Office.
On Thursday morning, numerous locations in France and Italy saw their coldest April weather on record, with temperatures well below freezing.