As usual, the first heavy snowfalls in western Europe have created widespread travel chaos. While weather forecasters had predicted snow in Germany, but the falls in North Rhine Westphalia and Bavaria exceeded expectations, causing major problems on key roads. The wintry weather also caused delays to train travel, forcing some to take to the roads despite warnings from police and emergency services.
And around Cologne there were temporary power cuts, adding to difficulties. In France the main problems were in the Rhone-Alpes and Franche Comté regions to the east of the country where major arteries were shut for several hours as lorries jack-knifed. However, the arrival of the white stuff has been greeted with sighs of relief in ski resorts in the Alps, suffering from a desperate lack of snow.
And the cold snap has even spread as far as the UK. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and western regions of England have been hit. The fear is that the falls will turn to ice over night, creating treacherous travel conditions for the weekend.