Bulgaria Reports New Record Low as Cold Spell PeaksEnvironment | February 1, 2012, Wednesday // 14:31| views
At most locations temperatures hovered about 20 C below freezing point, including the capital Sofia. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency
Temperatures in the town of Sevlievo, northern Bulgaria, plunged Wednesday morning to minus 31,4 C, a record low, which made the region one of the hardest hit by the severe cold spell in Eastern Europe.
On Wednesday, due to heavy snow cover and clear skies, 16 towns in Bulgaria recorded their coldest temperature since records started 100 years ago.
In the northeastern town of Knezha, the national weather service reported a low of minus 29 degrees, an absolute all time record, registered for the second day in a row.
Fourteen more towns and cities recorded record lows on Wednesday, including Chirpan (minus 24.8), Montana, Oryahovo, Svishtov, Lovech and Veliko Tarnovo.
At most locations temperatures were below 20, including the capital Sofia.
All Bulgarian regions, except the coastal region of Burgas, are under code orange over extremely low temperatures, the National Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) announced.
Cold weather and heavy snow are believed to have caused the death of at least five Bulgarians in the country's mountainous region since the beginning of the new year.
Highs will remain unusually low throughout the week, hovering about 10 degrees below zero.
Eastern Europe shivered this week in the coldest conditions seen this winter, with below-freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall leading to deaths, frostbite and widespread travel disruption.
Ukraine and Poland are among the worst affected countries, with lows in Kiev and Warsaw of -17 and -16 degrees Celsius (1 and 3 degrees Fahrenheit) respectively, far lower than the average for this time of year.
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