Europe hit with more blizzards, bitter cold

More snow and bitterly cold winds were in the forecast for several European countries Saturday.

More snow and bitterly cold winds were in the forecast for several European countries Saturday.

The latest blast of winter was expected to severely disrupt public transit in many parts of Germany, where the amount of snowfall reached 30 centimetres Friday night. Dozens of flights from the country's largest airport in Frankfurt have been cancelled.

Britain, already deep in its longest cold spell in nearly 30 years, recorded its chilliest night yet this season, –22.3 C in the Scottish Highlands village of Altnaharra.

Southwest England, which includes London, was expected to receive 18 centimetres of snow Saturday.

Train companies, including the cross-Channel Eurostar, said they would be running reduced service.

Road salt is being rationed throughout the United Kingdom. Officials say there's not enough for secondary roads and sidewalks. Poland, too, has seen shortages of salt for use on streets.

The German government has asked people to stockpile enough food, water and medicine to last through the next four days.

Southern Spain, France unusually cold

Some 30 centimetres of snow fell on Arles and Avignon in southern France on Friday, according to the regional traffic centre, and snowdrifts piled higher than a metre.

Much of Spain was also shivering. A nature park in the normally temperate Murcia region in the southeast turned on heaters at a pen housing three giraffes more accustomed to savannah-like climes.

In the Catalonia region centred on Barcelona, snowy conditions prevented 72 schools from reopening after the Christmas vacation, providing an extra day off for more than 16,000 children.

Heavy rains caused flooding across central and southern Italy. Northern Italy was blanketed by snow, while Venice faced the "acqua alta" phenomenon — exceptionally high tides which often flood most of the lagoon city in winter.

In Sweden, temperatures dropped to –38.7 C. Norway is facing its lowest temperatures in more than two decades. The mercury dropped Friday to –42C at Roros airport, in central Norway — the coldest temperature measured in mainland Norway since 1987.

With files from The Associated Press