Slovenia has been placed under alert as heavy snowfall is expected in most of the country during a 24-hour period starting at midday Thursday, with strong winds hitting the western region in particular.
The Environment Agency issued an orange alert, its second highest, for most parts of the country for Thursday and for the whole country on Friday as up to 80 centimetres of snow may fall locally by Saturday.
After a temporary lull following light snow during the day in most of the country on Wednesday, heavier snow showers are forecast for Thursday.
The biggest amount of snowfall is expected between Thursday midday and Friday noon, but it will then start petering out.
By Saturday morning eastern parts of the country are expected to get between 40 and 60 centimetres of snow, up to 80 cm locally, and the west between 20 and 50 cm.
While rainfall is projected for lowlands of Primorsko, the region will be affected by strong bora winds, with gusts over 100 kilometres an hour expected between Thursday evening and Friday morning.
Winds will also blow in other parts of the country, especially on high ground, and may build snow drifts. There is also the possibility of black ice in Primorsko.
As snow is expected to cause travel disruption, authorities have advised commuters to resort to public transportation, dissuading people against setting out by car except when absolutely necessary.
A call against unnecessary travel has also been issued by the motorway company DARS, whose officials told reporters today they were prepared for fresh snow.
DARS is already in touch with other countries over the situation and its teams will start excluding heavy vehicles from motorways at border crossings early on Thursday morning and later at rest areas.
First DARS teams will be out treating roads as soon as snow is expected to start at around 5:30 AM with the situation expected to peak at around midday and in the night to Friday.
According to estimates drawn up by the Environment Agency for DARS the heaviest snowfall is expected in the areas around Maribor, Novo mesto and the eastern-most region of Prekmurje.
DARS official Andrej Sever also said that the company’s teams would do their best to clean up the snow from the Ljubljana bypass even before the morning rush hour.
However, he also said that in the case of heavy snow coinciding with the rush hour, the snow ploughing teams can only move as fast as the tailback.