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Monday, February 20, 2012

Why Did the Danube River Freeze?

Winter in Europe this year is very unusual. Danube river was frozen. The cold air that enveloped Europe has caused the temperature dropped to minus dozens of degrees Celsius, so that makes everything freezes. Hundreds of people have died from the cold.

Freezing of the Danube is only one of a number of events that occur due to severe winter on the continent this year. The snow has blocked roads and towns in central Italy. A train stuck on the tracks in Montenegro for three days due to heavy snow. Even the famous canals of Venice were also frozen.

Ice floes on the Danube in Budapest, as seen on Feb. 11, 2012. (Picture from: http://www.livescience.com/)
At least four Balkan countries were forced to stop shipping freight ships through the Danube River, because of thick ice on the frozen river.

Climate pattern known as the "Russian Winter" is the cause of the cold wave gripped Europe. According to the U.S. space agency (NASA), the pattern is a strong wind blowing antisiklon Siberia in northern Russia and lead to cold and deep snow. The cold weather last long enough to be able to freeze the flow of the Danube, Europe's second longest river.

Danube flows through 10 countries, making it difficult to know how long the body of the river affected the Russian winter. However, a clear winter this year made a lot of Europeans shivering.

For the citizens of Belgrade in Serbia, for example, this winter was the worst year in decades. "When I saw 20 years back, I found several similar events, but nothing as strong as this winter," says Jim Andrews, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.com.

On January 13, 2003, in Belgrade weather dropped to minus 24 degrees Celsius. However, two days later, the temperature rose again to 8 degrees Celsius. Cold wave that hit Belgrade on January 29 until January 13, 2012 showed that average daily temperatures reach minus 24 degrees Celsius. The range between the highest and lowest temperature is minus 13 degrees Celsius and minus 24 degrees Celsius. *** [LIVESCIENCE | KORAN TEMPO 3796] 
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