Weather: Slippery roads bring accidents, particularly in eastern Estonia

Slippery highway (photo is illustrative).
Slippery highway (photo is illustrative). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Milder weather has brought treacherous road conditions as melt-water freezes again overnight. Early morning fog has also been causing complications. The problem is particularly serious in Ida-Viru County, with the main Tallinn-Narva highway already seeing several accidents, one of which has led to diversions.

Silver Pälsing of the Police and Border Guard Board's (PPA) eastern prefecture told ERR that: "Road conditions are currently very slippery, and early in the morning already the PPA was notified of several accidents. All road users must exercise due caution and do their best to make their journey as safe as possible."

To that end, the PPA says drivers must travel at appropriate speeds and be ready to anticipate changing conditions, as well as maintaining an appropriate distance from the vehicle in front.

Several accidents on Narva highway

Silver Päsling noted that from the 190th kilometer of the Tallinn-Narva highway in particular the surface is hazardous and average speeds are only 20-30 km/h.

Reports say a truck jack-knifed on that stretch shortly after 5.30 a.m. this morning, leading to a road closure of around an hour, while PPA personnel traveling to attend that incident came across another, similar scrape, also involving a truck.

Earlier in the morning two cars had already come to grief on the same stretch, though no injuries were reported.

As to the weather nationwide, the morning will be cloudy, with rain and sleet and fog in places. Northeastern Estonia will also see sleet and snow, with icy conditions noted above, and lower temperatures at around -6C than the rest of the country, where the mercury is ranging from -2C to +2C.

Weather on morning of February 22, Source: ERR

Daytime actually sees a fall in temperature in the northern half of the country, with a rise in the southern half. Tallinn will be -4C (compared with 2C in the morning), Hiiumaa will be around zero (down from +2C) while in Ida-Viru County it will get down to -9C. On the other hand, Saaremaa will see temperatures up to +4C, with 0-2C being the norm across the south.

It will however stay cloudy, with some snow in the east, and an easterly wind of 4-10 m/s, in gusts of up to 15 m/s in the islands.

Daytime weather forecast, February 22, Source: ERR

While Tuesday will see a dip in temperatures (down to -7C on average at night, -1C daytime) and the only other day through to Friday where snow is forecast, milder temperatures are forecast to continue to rise through to Thursday, where a peak of +5C will be the average daytime temperature, and even +2C on average overnight. Friday will see a slight fall in temperatures.

Five-day weather forecast. Source: ERR

Another more unusual weather factor forecast for the week is a stream of cloud-borne Sahara dust moving northwards at present, which may fall as rain on Tuesday as the system collides with a low pressure area moving eastwards. The fine dust particles deposited may require car-owners to clean up afterwards.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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