It's cold outside!

Take note – story published 6 years ago

Following a fairly sizeable blizzard January 4, temperatures across Latvia plunged in the early hours of January 5, as winter finally decided it was time to exert its authority.

Temperatures Thursday are forecast to be between -8C and -12C, dropping as low as -17C in the eastern Latgale region. However, a brisk northeasterly wind is adding to the mix, making it feel even colder.

And more is to come with some forecaster suggesting temperatures could plunge towards -30C at the weekend.

While it is already plenty cold enough to find out any deficiencies in footwear and mittens, the almost-literal silver lining is that the snow and cold temperatures give Latvia a very picturesque aspect at present, a fact seized upon by the Latvian Institute to showcase the country's deep, crisp and even charms.

Police are advising motorists to drive with care, and drivers are being encouraged to use public transport in the capital Riga via the allowance of so-called "snow tickets", meaning car owners can use public transport free provided they have their vehicle registration document on hand to show ticket inspectors.

In an even more important move, Riga city council said it was keeping its shelters for the homeless open round the clock to ensure people had a warm place to stay and a warm meal to eat. 

Social services are also urging members of the public to keep an eye out for homeless people in distress due tot he cold weather and other vulnerable members of society.

A mobile team of homelessness workers can be contacted on 27023550, while police can be contacted on by dialing 110 and emergency medical teams on 113.

"Helping homeless people is only a phone call away, don't just ignore them," urges the Riga social services advice.

The capital has seven homeless shelters offering 714 places, and up to 933 when necessary. 


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