A code “yellow” weather warning has been issued for 24 districts in Bulgaria, covering most of the country, on January 8 because of the thick fog, the country’s meteorology institute said.
The districts affected are Vidin, Montana, Vratsa, Pleven, Veliko Turnovo, Rousse, Turgovishte, Razgrad, Shoumen, Silistra, Dobrich, Varna, Bourgas, Yambol, Sliven, Stara Zagora, Haskovo, Kurdjali, Plovdiv, Pazardjik, Blagoevgrad, Kyustendil, Pernik and the city of Sofia.
Only the Sofia district (outside the capital city), Lovech, Gabrovo and Smolyan were exempt from the weather alert.
The thick fog prompted the cancellation of four domestic flights, between Sofia, Varna and Bourgas, but international flights into and out of Sofia were not affected. The ports of Varna and Bourgas were closed because of the fog.
Motorists were advised to take extra precaution and drive slower because of low visibility and wet surfaces. At its thickest, in northwestern Bulgaria, the fog near the Danube River port of Lom limited visibility to about 30m, while in the southeast, some areas had visibility of up to 200m. In Sofia, visibility was about 50m.
This is the third weather alert issued so far this month because of thick fog, with similar warnings issued on the first weekend of the year, which also saw heavy traffic because of the end of the festive season.
The weather in Bulgaria during the month of January is expected to be warmer than on average, with little snow or rain forecast, but the foggy conditions are expected to clear next week and would be followed by mostly sunny weather, the meteorology institute said.
(Sofia airport blanketed by thick fog. Photo: James Ward/flickr.com)