Croatia awoke this morning to typically cloudless skies and very warm weather following several weeks of intermittent rain and freakishly harsh drops in temperature. People emerged from their homes today wearing t-shirts and shorts to take advantage of the lift in conditions. But the beautiful weather is set to be interrupted one last time before the long Croatian summer makes it usual early arrival.
Much of Europe has experienced unsettled weather over recent weeks, with snow and hail falling in many places. Such conditions are relatively rare at this time of year and have been caused by blasts of cold Arctic air being forced down into the continent. Temperatures last week hit an all-time low for the region at this time of year. The decidedly cold weather has threatened late springtime frosts which could prove disastrous to the agriculture industry, in particular for winemakers.
French winemakers went to extraordinary lengths last week to stave off devastating late frosts
Despite today's glorious sunshine, predictions are that one more Arctic blast will hit the continent next week. A very cold air mass is expected to arrive early next week which will stretch far south into central and southern Europe to the Mediterranean, with the west north-west of the Balkans, where Croatia is situated, being particularly affected.
Today's warm and sunny climes are set to continue throughout Saturday, so tomorrow is the day for the barbecue if you have one planned. But, on Sunday, the rain looks set to return with temperatures promising to plummet further on Monday. Tuesday is expected to be the depths of this regional cold spell and could see temperatures fall to 15 degrees below the average for this time of year. Wednesday and Thursday are also expected to be decidedly cold for the time of year, although temperatures will rise slowly from Tuesday's benchmark and should return to nearer the annual average by next weekend.