Strong storms, cold weather hit Turkey as temperatures fall

İstanbul woke up to heavy rain and congested traffic on Friday, making daily life in the province more difficult.

Strong storms, cold weather hit Turkey as temperatures fall

World Bulletin / News Desk

İstanbul woke up to heavy rain and congested traffic on Friday, making daily life in the province more difficult. The situation in many other provinces was similar, with the heavy rains taking hold of most of Turkey.

The cold weather and downpour that have gripped Europe for several days finally arrived in Turkey. Temperatures dropped by 10 to 16 degrees Celsius throughout Turkey on Friday, accompanied by heavy rains and strong winds. Snowfall began in Edirne, Kırklareli and Tekirdağ early Friday. İstanbul was among the cities most affected by rainshowers and cold weather.

There was heavy rain in the province yesterday morning, which disrupted morning rush-hour commute and paralyzed daily life in İstanbul. The rain, which started late Thursday and continued through Friday, led to traffic congestion in several districts. Many vehicles were trapped on flooded streets. Traffic accidents caused by slippery roads and drivers' carelessness added to the congestion.

Traffic was at a virtual standstill on the E-5 highway as well as on many of the city's avenues and side streets. Vehicles formed long queues along the highway going from Beylikdüzü in the direction of Mecidiyeköy. Municipal officials said the congestion was caused by an accident that occurred around Beyklikdüzü and had no causalities.

Air traffic was also negatively affected by the storms. Some airplanes which were scheduled to land at İstanbul Atatürk Airport had to land at Sabiha Gökçen Airport instead.

More snow on Saturday

Rain turned to sleet in most parts of the province. State Meteorology Directorate İstanbul Regional Director Mustafa Yıldırım said the temperatures in İstanbul are expected to fall below 1 degree Celsius over the weekend. Noting that sleet will eventually turn into snow on Saturday, he said İstanbul is expected to be blanketed by snow on Saturday. The snowfall is expected to slow down on Sunday, he added.

Many provinces in the eastern and southern parts of the Marmara region, the northern Aegean, the western Black Sea, the northwestern and inner parts of Central Anatolia and the inner parts of eastern regions were also battered by cold weather throughout the day. Meteorologists say heavy snow will hit Bursa, Bolu, Kütahya, Manisa, Ankara, Tokat, Konya, Sivas and Isparta. İzmir, where snowy weather is rare, will also have sleet on Saturday.

A northeastly wind is expected to blow with a speed of 100 kilometers per hour over the weekend in the western parts of Black Sea, Aegean Sea and Marmara Sea. Meteorologists have issued flood warnings for the Mediterranean region. Heavy rains are expected there, particularly in Antalya, Mersin, Hatay and Adana.

Important winter tourism centers, such as Kartepe in northwestern Kocaeli province, are also enjoying the rising depth of snow. As of yesterday, the snow in Kartepe had reached 20 centimeters.

Last Mod: 10 Aralık 2010, 18:43
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