Athens awakened to a coating of snow Tuesday, thanks to a storm system passing by and a shot of cold from central Europe penetrating south into the Mediterranean.
Photos revealed a film of snow covering several of the city’s famed landmarks including the Acropolis hill, archaeological site of the temple of Zeus, and the Academy of Athens.
Snow even reached Artemida, a seaside town about 40 miles east-southeast of Athens.
In the Greek capital, the snow closed schools and disrupted bus and rail operations in the northern suburbs. According to the Greek Reporter, “many roads” were closed due to icy conditions.
Snow in Athens is not terribly uncommon. The Greek Reporter found snow falls about 4.5 days per year on average in the city.
Even so, the intensity of the cold has been notable.
Reuters reported an all-time low of minus-23 degrees Celsius (minus-9 Fahrenheit) in the city of Florina in northern Greece. Meteorologists named the responsible weather pattern “Telemachos” after the mythical character, the son of Odysseus.
The cold and snow in Greece fits into a wintry weather pattern that has gripped large parts of central and southern Europe to begin 2019.
“Europe has arguably had the most interesting weather pattern anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere in the first days of 2019, resulting in feet of snow and coastal flooding, high winds and blowing dust in parts of Europe and the Middle East,” Weather.com reported.
The jet stream has plunged south from Scandinavia through central Europe into the eastern Mediterranean:
The Associated Press reported that at least 13 people have died in weather-related accidents in Europe during the past week, mostly from avalanches.