While Europe shivers …

Written by on December 14, 2010 in Tenerife News - No comments

It?s sunshine all the way for Tenerife after dismal storms FORGET the ghastly, stormy weather we experienced over the weekend and Monday – the Canaries is still the warmest resort in Spain, where it has been freezing all week.

That’s because, while holiday-makers in Tenerife were able to return to the beaches in warm sunshine on Tuesday, snowfalls blighted some areas of the mainland.

As a result, more than 5,000 children were kept home from schools in Castilla y Le?n, Galicia and Cataluña, in the northern half of the peninsula.

And while the snow eased somewhat in Spain as the week progressed, Tenerife soon forgot Monday’s thunderstorm and enjoyed a dazzling, snow-covered view of Mount Teide, for the first time since February.

There was further bad news for the Spanish yesterday when the weathermen predicted a rain-swept Bank Holiday weekend, as early public-holiday celebrations for Constitution Day (Monday) and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Wednesday) looked set to be disrupted.

But if that sounds bad, spare a thought for the UK, which was virtually gridlocked amid fierce snowstorms all week. Gatwick, one of the world’s busiest airports, was even forced to close on Wednesday and Thursday, as was Edinburgh.

Others, including Heathrow, had severe disruptions, and many train services were cancelled after being unable to cope with the freezing conditions. Many passengers were trapped in broken-down trains all night on Wednesday.

One disgruntled passenger told ITN News: “I worked for seven years in Russia and went to work by public transport every day.

We never had problems in Moscow and I was never held up, so if they can do it there, why can’t we do it here?”

As Britain’s big freeze tightened its grip, weathermen warned that it could be the coldest winter for 100 years. Temperatures plunged to -20C in some places – the lowest in 17 years – with fears of still worse to come.

Bookmakers have already slashed the odds on the possibility of a white Christmas in London. They will pay out 7/2 if a single snowflake lands on Big Ben on Christmas Day, and 4/1 if it snows at the site of the Olympic Stadium, in the east end.

With rail, road and air travel all paralysed, around 57% of the nation’s workforce arrived late, or not at all, costing the economy more than £1billion a day.

Drivers were also warned to stay off the roads in several counties as more snow fell, especially in the south, with up to 10 inches in places.

Worryingly, British weathermen warned there was plenty more to come, at least until the weekend, and possibly into next week, with the temperatures dropping in some places to -25C.

Severe weather warnings are in place for the whole of Scotland, as well as warnings for northern England, the south coast and Wales.

Meanwhile, the devastating UK weather led to a woman dying after falling into a freezing lake at Pontefract racecourse, West Yorks. Children enjoying a snowball fight alongside a stream in Ewell, Surrey, found the body of a middle-aged man. And a motorcyclist died in a crash involving a lorry in Crawley, West Sussex.

In Lincolnshire, Europe’s largest Christmas Market was cancelled for the first time in its history after 10 inches of snow fell overnight.

So, while the sun cream is being slapped on liberally over here and throughout the Canaries, the outlook appears decidedly chilly for Spain, the UK and most of Europe – apart from Athens.

Surprisingly, the Greek capital enjoyed a temperature of 24C yesterday, with more warm weather promised, but it is hardly likely to rival the conditions over here!