A brutal cold snap, accompanied by blizzard conditions and heavy snow fall moved across the Balkans in mid-December, 2012. A heavy snow blanketed the Balkans on December 13, 2012 when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite passed over the region and captured this true-color image. From Greece in the south to Poland in the far north, the landscape shines with the bright white of recently fallen snow.
According to The Weather Channel, freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall killed at least five people and caused traffic chaos across the Balkans on December 9. Rescue workers struggled to reach passengers stranded in buses. Serbia’s prime minister ordered all available police personnel to take part in the rescue operations. It was reported that 50 cm (20 inches) of snow fell in just a few hours in Serbia’s northern province of Vojvodina.
On December 13, an additional person fell victim to the cold weather, and died of exposure in Kosovo. For nearly a week, heavy snow had stranded villages as well as disrupted traffic across all the Balkan states. The Associated Press reported that the bitter weather had killed at least nine people as temperatures plunged to minus 22°C (minus 8°F) in some areas.