Areas from Romania to Moldova and Ukraine were the latest in Europe to receive rare and disruptive April snow this week.
Unusually cold air plunging southward and connecting with a storm tracking eastward across central Europe allowed the snow to unfold late this week.
“The storm initially led to accumulating snow for Germany, southern Poland and into the mountains of the Czech Republic earlier this week,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said. “Even Vienna, Austria, received snow.”
Two dozen people were injured in a 40-car pileup amid snow in northeastern Slovakia on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
The incident occurred at 6 a.m. CEST (midnight EDT) near the city of Poprad, where 7.5 cm (3 inches) of snow covered the ground on Thursday morning.
The eastern Carpathian Mountains in Romania received widespread 30-60 cm (1-2 feet) of snow from the storm.
The heaviest snow continued to fall across Moldova and Ukraine into Friday.
The weight of the snow has downed trees and power lines across Moldova.
Moldova News reports that more than 200 localities lost power with dozens of tree downed. One fallen tree injured four people with a woman suffering an broken leg.
The heavy snow forced Moldova declare a state of emergency allowing the military to assist in aid across the country.
Four dozen road accidents have occurred alone in Chisinau.
“It is very unusual to be seeing snow this late in April,” Roys said.
Highs of 13-15 C (upper 50s F) are more common this time of year from Poprad to Chisinau. The normal low in Chisinau is 6-7 C (near 44 F).
Temperatures struggled to climb above freezing in Chisinau on Thursday and Friday as snow piled up.
“The heavy snow brings the risk for more tree damage, power outages and treacherous travel,” Roys said.
“Damage to spring crops could lead to possible shortages and rationing come this summer,” he said.
— Marta Povlen (@povlen13) April 20, 2017
“The situation at the moment is catastrophic for the agriculture,” Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry of Moldova, Iurie Usurelu, told Moldova News. “Many cultures, including cherries, apricots, persimmon, etc., will be affected.”
Temperatures will rebound this weekend, allowing snow to start to melt quickly. However, the air will still be chilly for this time of year.
Wet and slushy areas could refreeze at night where temperatures dip below freezing.
Even milder air will further erase any snow next week.