Snow forecast as festive season ends

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Wintry weather is set to bring snow to northern Italy. Photo: Luca Moglia/Flickr
12:29 CET+01:00
It may have been an unusually mild winter so far, but meteorologists are predicting wintry weather will arrive in Italy on Thursday with icy air set to send the mercury plunging and bring snow to some Italian cities.

Meteorologists say the change will see snow hit areas around the northern cities of Milan and Turin from December 31st. 

Further snow is forecast for the mountainous central regions of Marche and Abruzzo from January 2nd, while residents in Milan could wake up to find the city covered under a blanket of snow early next week, Il Meteo reported.

The past few months have seen stable, sunny weather and low rainfall across Italy.

While this weather has been welcomed by many, it has exacerbated smog problems, engulfing cities across Italy, and has forced many northeastern ski resorts to produce their first snows artificially.

All that is set to change from New Year's Eve when icy air will blast in from the east, sending temperatures across the Italian peninsular plummeting to a low single digit. Temperatures should hang around ten degrees Celsius on the sun-kissed island of Sicily.

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The cold air will also bring more unsettled weather.

The outlook for country's eastern coast is wet and cold, with the worst of it reserved for Tuscany and Sardinia, which are set to be battered by storms and heavy rainfall.

The upshot of the bad weather is that the rainfall will provide relief to citizens choking on smog in Milan, Turin and Rome - where measures have had to be taken to curb the circulation of traffic in the face of mounting air pollution problems.

Meteorologists say that while rainfall will not provide a long-term smog solution, it will remove polluting particles from the air for the time being.

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