Snowfall grips Istanbul again, country under new cold wave
A new cold wave has brought the country under its grip, disrupting life, forcing schools to close and provinces being issued weather alerts.
Some 17 out of Turkey’s all 81 provinces have canceled in-person education until March 21 due to heavy snowfall, including Turkey’s largest metropolis Istanbul, which has been hit by a third snow wave in the last three months.
The Turkish State Meteorological Service has declared a “yellow alert” for some 26 provinces and an “orange alert” for eight cities.
The temperatures will decrease by 2 to 5 degrees Celsius across the country at the weekend, the service said in a statement on March 18.
Meteorologists especially warned residents of the Marmara region, the western provinces of the Black Sea region and the eastern and southeastern provinces of heavy snowfalls.
According to the expert, the country’s east may witness avalanche risk, the Central Anatolian provinces may face frost and the country’s west may struggle with strong winds.
“The speed of winds may reach some 70 kilometers per hour in western coastal provinces,” the meteorological service added.
A “yellow alert” is issued when there is a “potential threat by a weather event.”
Meteorologists rarely issue “orange alert,” which signifies a possibility of damage and loss in a “dangerous weather situation.”
Following a first snowfall wave that disrupted daily life in January and four days of precipitation between March 10 and 14, another snowfall hit Istanbul on March 18.
Many districts on the city’s European side, such as Beylikdüzü and Arnavutköy, were blanketed in snow as the officials warned the snowfall and sleet would continue throughout the weekend.
Ekrem İmamoğlu, the mayor of Istanbul, advised the city residents to use public transportation at the weekend rather than using their own vehicles.
“We are expecting a heavy precipitation, especially on Saturday [March 19],” the mayor noted.
The adverse weather also affected the air traffic in the city. Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines canceled 100 flights in Istanbul’s two airports on March 19.