Temperatures sharply dropped in most of Türkiye this week and rainfall took hold in some places. As they go below seasonal normals, some regions see the first snowfall of autumn.
In the northeastern province of Ardahan, famed for its “frozen” Lake Çıldır, a drizzle started on Saturday and escalated into snowfall on higher ground. The hills and Kısır mountain surrounding central Ardahan were capped with snow on Saturday and Sunday. Bülbülan, a highland between Ardahan and Artvin province was also covered with snow while occasional fog shrouded the place. Kars, one of the coldest places in eastern Türkiye, were partially blanketed with snow as two days of sporadic precipitation turned into snowfall on Sunday. Locals started setting up traditional stoves after the snowfall and decreasing temperatures. “It is still too early to bring them back normally but it is really cold,” Ali Şahin, a local, told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Sunday as he tried to warm himself up next to a stove. “I was in Ankara last week and wearing a T-shirt now I am trying to keep myself warm here,” he said.
Rize, a Black Sea province known for its highlands and rainy climate, succumbed to cold weather and rainfall while snowfall gripped higher ground. Snowfall changed the lush green landscape of Ovit Mountain at an altitude of 2,600 meters (8,530.18 feet) and the famed Samistal highlands at an elevation of 2,450 meters. The depth of snow reached 10 centimeters (3.94 inches) in Samistal and other highlands. For locals, it was something worth celebrating as those camping in the highlands performed the traditional local folk dance “horon” to welcome the first snow of the season.
Artvin, neighboring Ardahan, is accustomed to snowfall but locals were taken aback with the sudden snowfall on higher places at such an early date. Snowfall was at its most intense in Beyazsu, a highland at the highest elevation in the province at 2,450 meters.
Apart from white beauty, snowfall brought plight as well. Drivers without tire chains had trouble driving through Sahara crossing, located at a high altitude on the main road connecting Artvin to Ardahan, while road crews worked throughout Saturday night to keep the road clear.
In Trabzon, cool and rainy weather turned into snowfall on Saturday night. Snowfall prompted many locals who relocated to the highlands to spend the summer start preparing for a return to their hometowns. Snowfall was dense in the Kadırga and Taşlı highlands of Trabzon. In Bayburt, another Black Sea province, villages at the peak of Soğanlı Mountain, at an altitude of 2,400 meters, were covered with snow. Ayhan Şentürk, who spent the summer at Aydıntepe highland of Bayburt, said the snowfall “comes early, in September” for the past two years and he was readying his possessions to return to the city.
Elsewhere, heavy snowfall blanketed the peak of Mount Erciyes, a popular ski resort site in the central Turkish province of Kayseri.
Yet, the weather forecast shows most regions of Türkiye will be spared from an early winter this week. Forecasts show dry weather and temperatures returning to seasonal normals after relatively cooler weather last week. Still, meteorologists warn against sporadic rainfalls on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Marmara region in the northwest and northern parts of the Aegean region in the west. Elsewhere, partly cloudy weather will be in force. The highest temperatures are predicted at 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit) in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır this week, ahead of 31 degrees Celsius in Samsun in the north and Mersin in the Mediterranean region in the south. The capital Ankara will see temperatures rising to 29 degrees Celsius, while temperatures will be around 26 degrees Celsius in Istanbul and Izmir.