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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published February 07 2012

Weather Talk: First intense cold wave of season grips Europe

A serious cold wave spread across Europe last week, with snow falling as far south as Rome. It was the first snowfall in Rome since 1985.

In London, Heathrow Airport received criticism for closing runways and canceling flights pre-emptively in order to avoid the kind of debacle that happened when it snowed heavily back in December, 2010.

The temperature in the mountainous region of Kazakhstan fell to 58 degrees below zero.

Across Serbia and Montenegro, deep snow and avalanches have cut off many towns from receiving supplies or medical help.

Meanwhile, evoking the spirit of Hans Brinker, people in The Netherlands are hoping to revive for the “Eleven Cities Tour,” in which ice skaters participate in a 125-mile speed-skating marathon along a network of canals. The event has not been held since 1997 because of a lack of cold weather, and has only been held 15 times since its official inception in 1909.

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