Unexpected snowfall hits Turkey’s metropolises
Following a week of spring rainfall and occasional strong winds, Turkey’s metropolises have witnessed an unexpected snowfall, as this time around, March, contradicting the old weather lore, came like a lamb and will go out like a lion.
Istanbul and the capital Ankara came under the grip of heavy snowfall and blizzards on March 24, disrupting traffic in some districts and shutting down roads in rural areas.
A blanket of snow covered Istanbul’s western parts first before heading to the more populated eastern and central districts, including higher ground on the city’s Asian side.
In Başakşehir and Beylikdüzü, the two major high-altitude districts on the city’s European side, morning rush hour traffic came to a halt for a short time due to snowfall.
Several traffic accidents were reported across the city as vehicles drifted on icy roads though there were no casualties.
Weather forecasts show mostly snow and sleet for Ankara, while most places, from the Marmara region to the Aegean province of Izmir, will be affected by precipitation at least until the weekend.
In Ankara, traffic jams were worst on March 24 on a stretch of Eskişehir Road.
Elsewhere, access for hundreds of settlements, mostly in villages, to other residential areas has been cut off because of heavy snowfall.
In the northwestern provinces of Düzce and Bilecik, which are located between Ankara and Istanbul, access to 46 villages has been cut off.
According to the Turkish State Meteorological Service (TSMS), Istanbul and Ankara will warm back up this weekend, with temperatures rising to 5 degrees Celsius from current levels fluctuating around zero Celsius.