Prague was enjoying a very mild (and very unusual) winter, which I was totally fine with. Skipping about perfectly content, imagining the spring that was bound to arrive very, very shortly and admiring the crocuses (croci?) that had already began to sprout in Stromovka. Then boom. Enter Winter 2012, finally.
Temps throughout Europe have dropped dramatically over in the last week, with catastrophic results. I thought last year's winter in NJ had toughened me up. Haaaaa. Was sorely mistaken. There is nothing like negative temps when you're running for trams or stomping down to the metro. Throw a river in the middle and it's downright icy. However, despite painfully cold mornings, Prague has been fairly lucky overall. Parts of Europe have been completely caught off guard by the sudden drops and snowfall that some areas have gotten. People have been completely cut off in some parts with no access to gas or electricity. ATMs have been failing. Homeless people, without access to long-term weather reports and caught completely unawares, have been freezing to death in the streets, and the death toll has hit over 300 people. Today Prague got it's first real bit of snow in the city center, though this has sadly already become a muddy slushy mess in our hallway.
There are tons of photos showing what's going on around - thought I'd round some up for you:
Coppet, Switzerland (from MSNBC)
Versoix, Switzerland (from 2OceansVibe)
Somewhere else real cold (from AfroCosmopolitan)
Trafalgar Square, London (from The Australian)
Home sweet home. Temps hit -19.5C/-3.1F today, but in the Sumava Mountains in Southern Bohemia,
temps fell to -39.4C/-38.92F. Holy.Crap. (from The Atlantic)
So, until further notice, you can find me camped out under my Snuggie with the heat on sipping hot chocolate.
Keep warm everyone!