Europe struggles with unseasonable weather, cold and hot

AP

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  • Apple blossoms are covered with near Denzlingen, southwestern Germany, Thursday, April 20, 2017. During temperatures below zero the layer of ice is to prevent the blossoms and apple trees from frost damages. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP)

  • 1

    Anti-frost candles burn in a vineyard, in the middle of the Swiss Alps, in Saxon, Canton of Valais, Switzerland, Thursday, April 20, 2017. Due to unusually low temperatures wine growers try to protect their grape shoots with anti-frost candles. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)

  • 2

    Water is being sprayed in apricot orchards to protect blooming buds with a thin layer of ice, in the middle of the Swiss Alps mountains, in Saxon, Canton of Valais, Switzerland, Thursday, April 20, 2017. Due to unusually low temperatures, fruit growers try to protect their buds with icy water. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)

  • 3

    Anti-frost candles burn in a vineyard, in the middle of the Swiss Alps, in Saxon, Canton of Valais, Switzerland, Thursday, April 20, 2017. Due to unusually low temperatures wine growers try to protect their grape shoots with anti-frost candles. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)

  • 4

    Small leaves of a bush are frost-covered after a cold night in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, April 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

  • 5

    Small leaves of a bush are frost-covered after a cold night in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, April 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

  • 6

    Apple blossoms are covered with near Denzlingen, southwestern Germany, Thursday, April 20, 2017. During temperatures below zero the layer of ice is to prevent the blossoms and apple trees from frost damages. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP)

  • 7

    Snow hangs on blossoms in Bosnian capital of in Sarajevo, on Thursday, April. 20, 2017. Temperatures during the night hovered around zero degrees Celsius and many areas saw snowfall.o (AP Photo/Amel Emric)

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    A Bosnian man walks on stairways during snow fall in Bosnian capital of in Sarajevo, on Thursday, April. 20, 2017. Temperatures during the night hovered around zero degrees Celsius and many areas saw snowfall.(AP Photo/Amel Emric)

  • Apple blossoms are covered with near Denzlingen, southwestern Germany, Thursday, April 20, 2017. During temperatures below zero the layer of ice is to prevent the blossoms and apple trees from frost damages. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP)

  • 1

    Anti-frost candles burn in a vineyard, in the middle of the Swiss Alps, in Saxon, Canton of Valais, Switzerland, Thursday, April 20, 2017. Due to unusually low temperatures wine growers try to protect their grape shoots with anti-frost candles. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)

  • 2

    Water is being sprayed in apricot orchards to protect blooming buds with a thin layer of ice, in the middle of the Swiss Alps mountains, in Saxon, Canton of Valais, Switzerland, Thursday, April 20, 2017. Due to unusually low temperatures, fruit growers try to protect their buds with icy water. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)

  • 3

    Anti-frost candles burn in a vineyard, in the middle of the Swiss Alps, in Saxon, Canton of Valais, Switzerland, Thursday, April 20, 2017. Due to unusually low temperatures wine growers try to protect their grape shoots with anti-frost candles. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)

  • 4

    Small leaves of a bush are frost-covered after a cold night in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, April 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

  • 5

    Small leaves of a bush are frost-covered after a cold night in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, April 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

  • 6

    Apple blossoms are covered with near Denzlingen, southwestern Germany, Thursday, April 20, 2017. During temperatures below zero the layer of ice is to prevent the blossoms and apple trees from frost damages. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP)

  • 7

    Snow hangs on blossoms in Bosnian capital of in Sarajevo, on Thursday, April. 20, 2017. Temperatures during the night hovered around zero degrees Celsius and many areas saw snowfall.o (AP Photo/Amel Emric)

  • 8

    A Bosnian man walks on stairways during snow fall in Bosnian capital of in Sarajevo, on Thursday, April. 20, 2017. Temperatures during the night hovered around zero degrees Celsius and many areas saw snowfall.(AP Photo/Amel Emric)

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) Parts of Europe struggled Thursday with both unseasonably cold and unseasonably warm weather.

Slovakian police say 24 people were injured Thursday in a 40-car pileup during a heavy snowstorm in the northeastern part of the country.

Rescuer spokesman Boris Chmel said the crashes occurred at 6 a.m. near the city of Poprad. The damaged cars completely blocked the major traffic route connecting the capital, Bratislava, with the eastern part of the country.

Some parts of Central and Eastern Europe, including Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bosnia, were hit by an unusual April cold snap, with freezing temperatures and snow disrupting traffic. Up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) of snow was reported in some areas since Wednesday morning.

Apple blossoms were coated with ice in Denzlingen, a town in southwestern Germany, while snowfall covered the streets of the central Romanian city of Miercurea Ciuc. In the Swiss Alps town of Saxon, water was being sprayed on apricot orchards to protest blooming buds from unusually low temperatures.

But in Portugal, high temperatures and low rainfall have prompted fears of an early outbreak of forest fires.

The Portuguese National Civil Protection Authority says temperatures will reach 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) in some areas, accompanied by a gusting wind, and that the fire risk will be "very high" in central and northern regions through Saturday. The agency is forbidding outdoor cooking, fireworks and the burning of crop residue.

The peak fire season traditionally begins July 1. Portugal will have more than 9,700 firefighters, over 2,000 vehicles and 48 water-dumping aircraft on standby from that date.

       

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