Temperature drops and rainfall have set in across much of Turkey, but the country’s west and some northern provinces have been spared heavy snowfall that has already blocked roads in eastern and remote areas . However, wintry weather is setting in and a blanket of snow covered western parts of the country late Wednesday and early Thursday. The country’s most populous city, Istanbul, also had its share of snowfall, albeit in the disorderly form of rain and snow. Meteorologists warn that a more severe snowfall or at least a winter mix will affect the western provinces next Monday.
The northwest of the country was besieged by strong winds and storms last month and temperatures have gradually dropped since then. In Istanbul, a wintry mix has prevailed this week as the Turkish State Meteorological Service (TSMS) issued a yellow alert for the city, the third-highest danger alert for weather severity, for Thursday. More cities in the west and northwest received warnings of heavy rainfall. Experts say Istanbul will see temperatures drop to 1 degree Celsius (33.8 degrees Fahrenheit) next Tuesday.
The capital Ankara also entered a winter phase on Wednesday evening and a blanket of snow blanketed the city’s Bala district on Thursday morning. Crews cleared roads and poured salt on icy sidewalks.
The snowfalls mainly affected the heights. In Kırklareli province in the northwest, a border crossing with Bulgaria and two higher districts saw snowfall early Thursday when temperatures dropped to 2 degrees Celsius.
Mount Bolu, where a major highway connects the west and interior of the country, Anatolia and the Black Sea region, has seen heavy snowfall disrupt traffic. Snow depths reached 10 centimeters (4 inches) in some places as crews struggled to keep the roads clear. To the west, Mount Kaz which spans Çanakkale and Balıkesir provinces was covered in snow on Thursday. Sakarya, a province east of Istanbul, was also affected by snowfall in its highlands while Kartepe, a popular ski resort in Kocaeli province, also experienced heavy snowfall, with a snow depth of up to 40 centimeters.