LONDON (REUTERS) - Snow fell over swathes of Britain on Tuesday (Feb 27) as freezing weather dubbed "the Beast from the East" swept in from Siberia, forcing some schools to close and snarling the travel plans of thousands.
Parts of eastern Britain have seen up to 10cm of snow this week and temperatures could fall towards minus 10 deg C in some rural areas, Britain's weather service said.
"Bitterly cold easterly winds maintain their grip across the UK and we will see further snow showers in some places," said Aidan McGivern, a meteorologist at the Met Office. "It is bitterly cold out there."
Train services and some flights were cancelled, while police warned drivers to take care as they battled blizzards and ice.
In London, snow covered some parts of Westminster and a blizzard briefly swept through the Canary Wharf financial district.
The freezing weather was expected to last for the rest of the week.
Elsewhere in Europe, two people were found dead in Romania as snow and sub-zero temperatures across much of Europe saw flights cancelled, road and rail transport disrupted and schools closed on Tuesday.
In southern Romania, an 83-year-old woman from Adancata was found collapsed in the snow and died on the way to hospital, the Institute for Emergency Situations said.
A 65-year-old man was found dead late on Monday in the eastern county of Suceava, an official told state news agency Agerpres.
Parts of a motorway linking the capital Bucharest to Constanta and dozens of other roads were closed. More than 80 trains and 15 flights were cancelled, Romanian police said. Romania's Black Sea ports were also closed.
Record snowfall of 182cm paralysed the northern Croatian town of Delnice, and rescue services took several hours to evacuate residents in the nearby village of Mrzle Vodice.
Temperatures hit a low of minus 20 deg C in Zavizan on the Velebit mountain. Schools were closed in Bucharest and 10 Romanian counties, as well as across western and central Croatia.
The roofs of dozens of houses collapsed under the weight of snow in the Unsko-Sanski canton in north-western Bosnia. State-run RTCG TV reported that Montenegro's main Golubovci airport was closed for several hours overnight.
A rare snowstorm in Rome on Monday prompted the Italian authorities to call in the army to help clear the streets. As the storm moved south on Tuesday, Naples saw the most snow since 1956. It blanketed the beach and covered fishing boats in small city ports such as Santa Lucia and Mergellina. With a snow-covered Mount Vesuvius providing the backdrop, the snow paralysed traffic and train services. Schools were closed in Naples and much of southern Italy.