Saturday, January 21, 2017

Snow to further bury earthquake-ravaged central Italy early next week

The storm that brought rare and disruptive snow to Spain this week will track across the Mediterranean Sea through early next week, further burying earthquake-ravaged central Italy.
Rescue and recovery efforts continue in central Italy after one of Wednesday's strong earthquakes triggered the deadly avalanche that slammed into the Hotel Rigopiano in the Abruzzo region.

The earthquakes rattled the region amid a potent snowstorm.
The Prati di Tivo ski resort, located just to the northwest of the hotel, reported 40.6 cm (16 inches) of fresh snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to
At the Passo Lanciano-Majelletta resort to the southeast of the hotel, the snow total for these two days was 81 cm (32 inches).
While the snow has since tapered to spotty snow showers in the Apennines in central Italy, emergency crews at the Hotel Rigopiano will soon have to deal with steadier, more disruptive snow as the storm from Spain arrives.
Italy Jan 20
“Snow will return late this weekend and early next week,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards said.
The snow will total 15-30 cm (6-12 inches) in the central Apennines with locally higher amounts in the most persistent snow bands.
“The snow will cause travel delays and could lead to more avalanches,” Richards said.
Strong winds will further make travel difficult by blowing and drifting the snow around.
As snow falls in the mountains, rain will also spread from western Italy to the southern Balkan Peninsula. The wettest time period for Rome will be at the end of the weekend.
The heaviest rain will target Sicily, far southern mainland Italy and Greece, threatening to cause localized flash flooding.
Even in the absence of flooding, travelers could face delays. Downpours will reduce visibility and heighten the risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds.
As the rain falls, a couple of gusty thunderstorms could occur. Seas will build and become dangerous for small craft in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas.
The winds could become strong enough for localized damage and coastal flooding along the southern coast of Italy.
As the storm moves into the Balkan Peninsula, enough chilly air will be in place for substantial snow in the Pindus and Rhodope mountains. A bit of snow will graze Skopje, Macedonia, and Plovdiv, Bulgaria, while chilly and dry air holds over most of the northern peninsula.
Dry air will further expand back to Italy at midweek.
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