A burst of Arctic winds is set to descend over the Italian peninsula between January 3rd and 5th, and possibly right up until the 8th.
Temperatures could drop 10 degrees Celsius compared with seasonal averages, especially in areas at high altitude. Snowfall is expected in many areas of the country on Thursday 3rd and/or Friday 4th, especially in the centre and southeast.
The snow is even expected to reach the coastline, where flakes are a rare site. Parts of the eastern Adriatic coast, as well as coastline areas in southeastern Italy can expect snowfall due to exposure to cold air flows from the Balkans, reports Meteo Giornale.
The regions of Le Marche, Lazio, Abruzzo, Molise, Basilicata, Campania and Puglia will all get snow on the morning of Friday January 4th, according to Italian weather site Meteo.
Milan, Bologna and Parma can expect temperatures as low as -4C on Thursday and -5C the next day in Bologna. Temperatures are expected to drop below zero throughout areas in the Alps and Apennines, reports Italian daily Repubblica.
From Rimini to Bari, Naples, Palermo and many other central or southern Italian cities, snow is forecast, adds the daily. Temperatures in the Dolomites are expected to drop as low as -12 Celsius on the night of the 5th, the epiphany.
The snow is also forecast to affect areas struck by recent earthquakes – Amatrice, Norcia and Camerino in central Italy.
Some regions are taking extra measures to contend with the cold spell. The mayor of the city of Bari has ordered additional beds at refuges for the city's homeless, according to media reports.