Tue Dec 21st, 2010 at 08:08:26 AM EST
A casual and rambling survey of wintery news from across Europe for the month of December 2010.
RadioFree Europe: Europe Battles On Through Winter Onslaught
Northern Europe continues to battle against ice and snow, which have disrupting road, rail, and air traffic. In Poland, where temperatures have fallen to as low as -33 degree Celsius, authorities say 12 people froze to death overnight, bringing the country's overall death toll caused by harsh weather in the past three days to at least 30. Many of the victims were homeless people.
Heavy snowfall in the Old Town in Gdansk, Poland. (Reuters)
frontpaged with minor edit - Nomad
Voice of America: Snow Brings Europe to a Standstill
Northern Europe has been hit with its third day of extreme weather, with snow and ice cutting off travel links across Britain, France, and Germany.
People across Europe are trapped by the December 2010 snowpocalypse. Travelers are stranded in airports in Frankfurt, Brussels, Paris, and London. At the Zurich airport, a snowplough clears the snow-covered runways on December 17. (Reuters)
AP: Fresh snowfall forces Frankfurt airport to suspend flights as Christmas chaos persists
Fresh snowfall has forced Frankfurt airport, Germany's biggest, to suspend takeoffs and landings -- the latest setback to beleaguered pre-Christmas travelers in Europe and beyond.
An EgyptAir airplane lands as snowplows clear runways during snowfall at Frankfurt, Germany's airport on Dec. 20. More than 1,000 flights at Germany's main airports in Frankfurt, Munich, and Berlin were canceled, and many more delayed, after up to 16 inches of fresh snow blanketed the country. Some 500 stranded passengers slept on cots at Frankfurt airport. (Alex Domanski/Reuters)
Telegraph: UK snow: 'national disgrace' Heathrow owners accused of under-investing in clearing equipment
Heathrow suffered from "chronic underinvestment" ahead of this winter compared with its domestic and European rivals, it was claimed yesterday. BAA, which owns the airport, spent just £500,000 this year preparing it for snow and ice. Gatwick, which yesterday operated most of its flights, invested £1million despite being less than half the size, and plans to spend a further £7million next year.
British Airways plane surrounded by snow at Gatwick airport (AFP/Getty)
New York Times: Snow Hampers Travel in Europe
Europe was slammed by new winter storms on Monday, forcing airlines to cancel or delay thousands of flights and further aggravating travelers after two days of snowy disruption that already had left many airplanes grounded. The repercussions were felt around the globe.
The chaos caused by the onslaught of snow and slush that has hit Europe in recent days could hardly have come at a worse time for holiday travelers, and European authorities urged all those who could possibly suspend travel plans to do so. Airlines warned passengers to check their flight's status before leaving for the airport...
The outlook was not reassuring: National weather agencies warned that more icy weather was possible for Tuesday and beyond.
Freezing conditions already wrecking travel plans for thousands are set to blight the UK until after Christmas - with a long-awaited thaw not expected until Boxing Day.
SkyNews: Big Freeze To Blight UK Until After Christmas
Eurostar said it was running a restricted service due to the continued bad weather.
Queues of Eurostar passengers started building up from 3am at St Pancras station in London.
Thousands were forced to wait for up to eight hours for trains on Monday in bitterly cold weather.
The Bishop of Lincoln Dr John Saxbee blesses the crews and vehicles of Lincolnshires gritters as they prepare to go out on duty on December 20, 2010 in Lincoln, England. The Bishop and other clergy across the county have blessed the gritters in the past and hopes that it will reduce winter accidents on the roads. (Getty)
Irish Times: Commuters and travelling public face transport chaos
Commuters and people returning home for Christmas continue to have their travel plans disrupted as the bad weather throughout Europe shows no signs of easing.
Heavy snows along the east coast of the country forced Dublin airport to suspend all flights for over five hours last night and caused traffic chaos across the city.
A truck lies in a ditch after its driver lost control on an icy highway near Ziesar, Germany, on Dec. 20, 2010. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Globe and Mail: Winter strands travellers in Europe
The extreme winter weather blanketing Europe has stranded travellers attempting to reach loved ones by air, rail and road in the days leading up to Christmas.
A train covered with ice and snow leaves a train station in Halle, eastern Germany, on Dec. 20, 2010. (Eckehard Schulz/The Associated Press)
Metro: Big freeze biting all over rest of Europe
Brussels Airport was forced to cancel flights when it ran short of de-icing liquid and could not guarantee safe departures. The shortage was because of transport problems in France and officials said the airport was likely to remain closed until Wednesday.
More than 1,000 flights at airports in Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin were cancelled and more delayed after up to 16in (40cm) of fresh snow blanketed Germany. Airlines advised passengers to use trains but rail operator Deutsche Bahn urged them to stay home.
Spiegel: Snow Chaos in Germany
Blizzards continued to batter Germany Friday as the storm "Petra" brought highways to a halt, closed airports and caused chilly mayhem across the entire country... The German Red Cross brought hot drinks and blankets to many stranded motorists.
PBS: More Than Snow Chilling France
"We just aren't prepared to deal with this," said a Paris friend, but he at least had a good time skiing in the park opposite his house.
French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux was more plaintive but perhaps more realistic, responding to declarations from the prime minister and agitated commentary:
"We cannot have a system designed for the Northern Territories of Canada," he said.
A woman and a girl are seen near the Eiffel Tower after snow fell on the French capital, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010. (By Jacques Brinon, AP)
Sadly, little football on television as a distraction. (Snow stops first Dutch 3D football telecast.)
67 games in Scotland victim to weather ... so far! A massive chill was today sent through Scottish football as SPL chiefs reflected on 67 games already lost to the weather - and tomorrow night's match between Dundee United and Rangers already in danger of being added to that list.
And the snow can make it hard to get down to the shops.
Reuters: German retailers shrug off snow chaos
An unexpectedly snowy start to winter has curbed Christmas spending in Germany a little, but not enough to worry retailers as much as their peers in the UK and France, a retail industry group said on Friday.
"Christmas sales in the last week have been down a little on the first two weeks of the season, but still better than in 2009," a spokesman for Germany's HDE retail association said...
Freezing temperatures, ice and snow brought transport networks to a halt across Europe earlier this month and more snow is forecast as retailers enter the busiest shopping week of the year.
Guardian: UK snow leaves retailers in despair
Retailers have warned that the horrendous weather conditions are having a serious impact on Christmas takings, despite many shoppers today deciding to ignore travel warnings in an effort to bag festive bargains.
Big discounts could not fill the stores, but thousands of shoppers headed out on treacherous roads and icy pavements to get to Brent Cross shopping centre in north London today, which was forced to shut on Saturday afternoon because of heavy snow.
It's cold outside and getting around can be a challenge. First of all, be careful out there. Experts advise, take it slow.
Guardian: Dr Luisa Dillner's guide to . . . walking on snow and ice
Concentration is everything. Just walk. Do not talk on your mobile phone or even reach into your pocket. Look where you are walking - icy patches may not be easy to see. Suspect all surfaces of plotting to upend you...
Still, some people will adapt better to the snow than others.
Boston Globe: Dead of winter? Not in Northern Europe
Winter in the Netherlands' capital and biggest city is supposed to deliver rain and sleet. But the day I checked into my Amsterdam hotel, there was a dusting of snow outside. Still, swans paddled around the fog-shrouded canals -- white on white.
A resident I talked with, Nicolette Corputty, urged me to rent a bicycle to get around. Hundreds of cyclists were rocketing past on the sidewalk at the time, angrily ringing and ringing their bells.
"I don't want one,'' I said.
"Yes,'' she insisted. "You just put on leggings, your scarf. You are fine.''
A cyclist passes snow-covered trees on the Pyrenees route to Erro, Spain, on Dec. 2. Many parts of Spain registered freezing temperatures and snow storms. (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)
But still, getting around is not a lot of fun in the ice and snow even if you do not have to travel far.
Snow-covered bicycles are seen after snowfall at Dusseldorf airport December 16, 2010.
(Credit: Reuters/Ina Fassbender)
A car is stuck in a ditch along a snow-covered road in Fechain, France, on Dec. 20, after heavy snow fell in northern France. (Pascal Rossignol/Reuters)
A passenger pushes a taxi from a snowdrift after heavy snowfall in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Dec. 18. Snow also fell in Britain, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands and weather experts forecast worse to come. (Alexander Khudoteply/AFP/Newscom)
Even world politics must take a pause when heavy snow falls.
On Dec. 1, people go by the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland despite the heavy snow. Heavy snow fell again in Geneva on Dec. 1. (Xinhua/Yang Jingde)
And the economy is still doomed, even more so with the snow.
Guardian: Icy blast puts the skids under growth forecasts for economy
City economists were last night cutting forecasts for growth in the final three months of 2010 as they assessed the impact of freezing weather on the retail sector, bars, restaurants and the transport industry in what is one of the busiest periods of the year.
Still, the winter snow can be magical and beautiful.
Freezing fog surrounds the tower of Lincoln Cathedral as plummetting temperatures continue to grip the UK on December 20, 2010 in Lincoln, United Kingdom. (Getty)
Winter arrives in Amsterdam dusting Reguliers canal and the rest of the center city with snow. (Peter Dejong/Associated Press)
Snow can be romantic.
An umbrella provided cover for a couple and a splash of color in snowswept Florence, Italy, Friday, as unusually cold and snowy weather continued across the region. (Photo: Maurizio Degl'innocenti / European Pressphoto Agency)
And, snow can even be fun!
A boy builds a snowman on the Place Bellecour in Lyon, France.
Youths play in the snow near the Pyramid entrance of the Louvre Museum in Paris on Dec. 17 as winter weather hits the French capital. (John Schults/Reuters)
Scholars from Bingen am Rhein enjoyed big snowfall near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. (Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
Children reenact the Battle of Stamford Bridge, England, on Dec. 2, but this time with snowballs. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters)
With warm wishes to all stranded en route to friends and family this Christmas for festivities other winter celebrations.
Walkers wrapped up warm for a snowy stroll in Hamburg on Thursday. (DPA)
Bundle up and stay warm!