Bulgarian meteorologists registered 15 temperature records for a single day only. This winter is about to repeat the polar temperatures from the distant 1947, when thermometers around the town of Tran showed -38.3C. Polar cold has frozen this country as of Monday and record freezing temperatures were measured at 15 settlements. The town of Knezha has topped the rankings for two days in a row with a temperature of minus 29C. The town holds the ultimate record in Bulgaria for January 31, when in 1942 temperatures went down to the Siberian minus 30.2C. People from the town of Chirpan woke up with the “cold news” about minus 26C. The record set so far in this town was in the distant 1933, when a temperature of minus 18.8 degrees was measured. At the same time the citizens of the capital city of Sofia “enjoyed” “only” a temperature of minus 21C. Ice records were registered at a series of settlements in this country. Thermometers at the Danube town of Ruse, for instance, showed temperatures that haven’t been registered over the past 50 years. At the same time the Bulgarian expedition in Antarctica reports mild weather and a temperature of minus 5-6C. Now we ask ourselves which the ice continent is…
Records, however, are not limited to low temperatures only. The Black Sea Varna Lake has frozen for a first time since 1954 – the sea froze then too. Experts claim that the reason lies in the low percentage of salt and alarm that 90 percent of the Danube River is expected to freeze. The first blocks of ice have appeared due to the low level of the river. All stations that give shelter to ships during the winter have been made ready to save crews in need. The big river hasn’t seen such extreme icing for 40 years.
The consumption of electricity and energy for heating has increased drastically due to the cold. Consumption of electricity has risen by 15 percent. Energy experts calm the people, saying that this country has enough powers provided. The electricity network is expected to reach its peak in terms of loading today, beating the 2010 record. However, the consumption of electricity was biggest during the gas crisis in January 2009. The teams of firefighters and civic protection also set their records in constant saving of vehicles, blocked by the snow, draining of village houses, reacting to signals for fallen trees etc. The greatest number of icicles has been removed in Sofia. Police teams help freezing and homeless people all over the country, accommodating them in the respective institutions. Warm kitchens have been organized in Sofia, along with handing of warm tea at several spots downtown the city. This Siberian cold created serious problems to people all over the country. Dangerous icicles hanging from the houses’ roofs, iced streets and electricity lines, covered with snow – these are all serious threats to passers-by. Furthermore – many settlements in this country remained with no electricity for a long time due to wires, broken by the snow and ice, a series of taps froze and drivers couldn’t start their the engines of their cars. Because of the sudden freezing expected the length of classes at many schools has been reduced. To tell a joke, but a serious one, the whole amount of woolen male leggings in the town of Sliven has been bought in the course of two days only.
Temperatures of down to minus 20C will be expected in February too. Weathermen foresee more Siberian cold, leading to new temperature records. The true winter doesn’t stop here, meteorologists warn. It looks like the Orange Code, voiced for the entire country in the last day of January will remain in force for a long time. The weather remains dangerous this week too.
English version: Zhivko Stanchev