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Friday, January 21, 2022

1946: Europe hit by near-zero temperatures

An outbreak of frost that has been sweeping central Europe from the east for the past four days reached its peak yesterday, when temperatures below zero Fahrenheit were typically recorded in northwestern Europe. In France, where Atlantic weather was expected, the fourth day of cold was worse than the first.

Temperatures dropped to 12 degrees Celsius in Paris, the lowest temperature ever recorded, while near-zero temperatures were recorded in northern France, Belgium and Holland, and below zero in southwestern France and the Pyrenees. .

Canals in Holland, Belgium and northern Germany, which began freezing earlier this week, were completely blocked for inland navigation. The canals in northern France were also on track to become useless as waterways yesterday, creating further complications for the transport of much-needed coal from the northern mining areas.

However, French electricity officials declared optimistically that even if the canals were frozen, steam-generating stations would have enough stock to maintain electricity supplies under current restrictions. These now include the subsequent restoration of current supply on days when power is cut during daylight hours and further cuts without warning whenever electrical radiators are found to be being used too much on the supply. .

The cold is bringing trouble and trouble to thousands of Parisians and other residents of the city, but is proving to be a boon for skaters as the ponds freeze. Hundreds of winter sports fans played their first innings of the season on the artificial lake of the Bois de Boulogne, which was covered with more than six inches of snow yesterday.

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The weather bureau had predicted cloudy sky, low temperatures and snow on Wednesday. Fog and snowfall, accompanied by rising temperatures, were reported from Scotland, the Channel coastlines and northern Belgium, triggering a change in weather that could reach the Paris region today.

The biggest snowfall reported yesterday came from Italy’s Alpine and northern Apennine regions, where even low ground was covered with more than three feet of snow, messing with road and rail transport.

For most Europeans the first winter frost, which is usually not expected before January, has turned the joys of Christmas into sadness. Without coal, firewood and severe power restrictions, the French, Belgian, Dutch and German people have nothing to look forward to as the festive season approaches, except for the appearance of clouds, fog and snowflakes. In addition to the change in the weather forecast. The westernmost tip of Europe.

– The International Herald Tribune, December 20, 1946.

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