Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Europe snow: Dangerous, but beautiful

Everyone has been hearing about the unusual weather in Europe: non-stop snow for days on end, lakes and dams turned to ice, subzero temperatures and severely cold winds resulting in frozen rain, frostbite and even death.


The bigger picture is that Europe is not just having another snow day. More than 250 people have died across the region and 135 of those cases are in Ukraine alone. National highways have been shut down in a number of countries and the icy roads are hindering transportation.


However, many Europeans are enjoying this snowy surprise. iReporters across the continent have shared with us the beautiful, snow and ice-covered landscapes around them.


We've seen winter wonderland scenes from Romania, the Czech Republic, Germany, Corsica, Spain, Ukraine and Greece.


Albin Niederstrasser, a 52-year-old professional photographer, was shooting snow panoramas in the quiet, tranquil valley of Zillertal, Austria, when about 30  falcons flew above him, fighting. "And suddenly it was totally silent again," he says.


Some of these sights have not just been beautiful, but incredible. Nature draws attention to the laws of physics and chemistry and made us wonder how something like this happens:




Rina Rautenbach, 58, was driving home in Geneva, Switzerland, when she came across the spectacle of ice.


"During the night and the day before we had extreme temperatures, -23C, where it got so cold that the spray made waves on the lake," she says. "As it sprays up, it turns into ice immediately. It became layer on layer on layer." Rautenbach says they call this phenomenon "la beeze" in French.


One iReporter from Italy wanted to show that "there is more to Italy than Rome." Cheryl Ferguson of Urbino, Italy, says her town is in a state of emergency. Residents experience regular power outages and have almost five feet of snow. But despite being trapped in their house for more than a day, Ferguson says they are lucky to have electricity, water and gas.


A number of tiny towns are experiencing difficulties like this. Yet the Europeans have taken it in stride. They are appreciating and cherishing the snow. iReporters continue to capture fun moments, whether it is a dog "dachscing through the snow" in Bosnia and Herzegovina or a fox jumping around in Southeast London.


Whether you're facing obstacles because of the snow or you’ve found an excuse to have snowy fun, we'd like to hear your story. Share your Europe snow stories and more importantly, stay safe and warm!

February 8, 2012
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February 8, 2012
Click to view SLTara's profile

Just stunning.....Im thinking this is another global warming red flag tho...I wish the planet would heed the signs.

February 8, 2012
Click to view p41's profile

You racist europeans love to talk about b0mbing people of color back into the stone age...well, GOD is eradicating your kind from the planet; one redn3ck-b@st@rd at a time.

February 17, 2012
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