How Rome responded to a very rare snowfall

How Rome responded to a very rare snowfall

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


It snowed in Rome in 1982 and again in 2012. Snow isn't really a thing in Rome, so when it happens, the capital of Italy looks quite different in many ways.

On Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, Rome received between four and 15 cm of snow. This would alarm cities in Canada that are used to a very real, snowy, and drawn-out winter.

The snow was courtesy of a Siberian weather front, dubbed "Beast from the East," which sent temperatures plunging.

Considering snow is rare in Rome, they don't exactly have an army of snowplows waiting to be called in for their daily shift.

Click here to subscribe to This Day in Weather History

As a result, the army was called in to help (and no one mocked them, unlike when Toronto's mayor called in the army).

Rome's transportation systems were shut down, as were schools, shops, and cemeteries. Dozens of cars were stranded in the streets.

Some subway and train stations were kept open to provide temporary refuge to homeless people. There was even a shelter specifically for homeless people with animals.

Considering the city's inexperience with snow, it reacted pretty quickly and effectively.

Though rare snow has its challenges it also has its benefits; snow day.

People crafted some makeshift sleds and headed to Rome’s public parks. Other people, including priests, enjoyed some snowball fights. Nuns also joined in on the wintry fun and built snowmen.

To hear more about the snow in Rome, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

Luckily, this occurred during the days of Twitter.

Subscribe to 'This Day in Weather History': Apple Podcasts | Amazon Alexa | Google Assistant | Spotify | Google Podcasts | iHeartRadio | Overcast'

Thumbnail courtesy of Unsplash