Three weeks of bitter cold, exacerbated in some areas by deep falls of snow, have taken a heavy toll in central and eastern Europe.
The number of dead has topped 600, according to the Associated Press, with Russia, Ukraine and Poland suffering the highest losses.
A break in the extreme cold is beginning across the continent with no return to extreme cold in sight, AccuWeather.com meteorologists say.
Since Jan. 25, average temperatures have dipped 15, 20 and even 25 degrees F below normal over much of central and eastern Europe, including European Russia.
New record lows have been set, as the mercury has dipped as low as 40 degrees below zero.
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In Kiev, Ukraine, three-week average temperature was only 4.7 degrees F, or 17 degrees below normal. The average reading of 0.7 degrees below zero F took Rivne to 20 degrees below normal.
The three weeks in Russia averaged 14 degrees F below normal in Moscow and almost 25 degrees below normal in Yashkul, near the Caspian Sea.
At least one all-time record low temperature may have been set when Astrakhan, Russia, hit 29 degrees below zero F early in February.
Results were dramatic in central Europe, with both Leipzig, Germany, and Warsaw, Poland, registering average temperatures about 17 degrees below normal throughout the cold wave.
For the rest of this week as well as the coming week, pockets of cold will persist in Europe, especially in areas of deep snowcover such as the Balkan Peninsula. However, the continent will not be subject to any new arctic outbreak of the kind that sparked the cold late in January.
Also read: Hundreds die in Europe's worst winter
by The Canadian Press- castanet.net
More than 600 people in Eastern Europe have died during a record-breaking cold snap that has brought the heaviest blizzards in recent memory and trapped thousands behind walls of snow, officials said Wednesday.
Authorities in Russia say 205 people have died in the deep freeze that began in late January, while in Ukraine there have been 112 fatalities, and in Poland 107 people lost their lives due to the frigid weather. There were 35 deaths in Hungary, 20 in Serbia, and 10 in Kosovo.
In hard-hit Romania, some 23,000 people remain isolated in 225 communities where more than week of heavy snowfall has blocked roads and wreaked havoc on the rail network.
Nearly 4,000 people cut off for more than a week said Wednesday they were short of food water, and medicine. Authorities said seven people have died in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 86 deaths