Some of the coldest temperatures felt since the earthquake struck southern Turkey occurred Thursday morning, as a freezing weather blast envelopes disaster-stricken regions while rescue workers in Turkey and Syria search for survivors.
Low temperatures ranged in provinces from -2°C or degrees Celsius (28 degrees Fahrenheit) in Kilis, to -4°C in Gaziantep, to -6°C in Malatya Thursday morning. Temperatures have since warmed above freezing with the heating of the sun during the day, but will remain around 5°C below average for this time of year.
People in the area devastated by this week’s earthquake will continue to feel below normal temperatures over the next several days. Temperatures will consistently dip below freezing in the overnight hours and warm above freezing during the day, with the exception of northern areas in higher elevations.
Mostly clear skies will allow for the sun to warm the area during the day, but it will also allow for faster cooling at night, as cloud cover acts as a blanket to trap heat from escaping the atmosphere.
Forecast temperatures through the weekend:
- Elbistan: Highs just below freezing, lows around -14°C (7°F)
- Malatya: Highs near freezing, lows around -10°C
- Kahramanmaras: Highs 5°C to 7°C, lows -4°C to -2°C
- Gaziantep: Highs 6°C to 8°C, lows -3°C to -2°C
- Kilis: Highs 7°C to 9°C, lows at or just below freezing
- Hatay: Highs around 10°C, lows at or just below freezing
This cooler than normal spell in February comes on the heels of what has been a warm winter for the region. Turkey just saw its warmest December on record and fourth warmest January on record.
Northern Syria is facing similar colder than normal conditions like Turkey. The city of Aleppo is forecast to have highs around 10°C and lows of -3°C to -2°C through this weekend. Aleppo averages highs of 12.5°C and lows of 2.5°C in February.