Arctic storm across Europe threatens Kiwis' travel dreams

An Arctic storm sweeping across Europe has sparked pleas for Kiwis to keep in contact with their travel agents.

Flights and public transport are being affected as the icy snap rumbles the continent, bringing heavy snow and temperatures below -20degC. The storm is already claiming lives, including two in Romania.

Flight Centre's managing director David Coombes says they'll keep a close eye on the storm as it heads towards destinations popular with Kiwis.

"The storm - as it's named the 'Beast from the East' - is moving from east to south-west across Europe," he says.

"So it's hit Rome, been blanketing snow in Germany, but now heading into the UK which is a big destination for Kiwis."

The cold has broken new records, worrying meteorologists. It's been linked to a long-term shrinking of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean.

"It's never been this extreme," said Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).

Mr Coombes says the storm is expected to stick around until the end of the week.

"If there is a weather event, pay heed to the authorities over there - stay safe," he says.


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