A huge and intense area of high pressure has established itself in the North Atlantic, at an equal distance between Iceland and Scotland.
With a central pressure of 1055 millibars, this is one the most intense anticyclones on record – and certainly in the top 10 in the North Atlantic since the middle of the 19th century.
It comes just over two months after another anticyclone saw a pressure of 1050.5 millibars being recorded in Wales, United Kingdom.
Winds blow in a clockwise direction around an anticyclone, so for much of Europe, this has resulted in north to northeasterly winds bringing much colder air to all areas.
This follws the start of spring on March 20 and at the start of British Summer Time when clocks are put forward one hour in advance of Greenwich Mean Time.
Sunday is the last warm day for Moscow and Vienna, with predicted maximum temperatures of 15 and 14 Celsius (59 and 57.2 Fahrenheit) respectively for the Russian and Austrian capitals.
By Monday, maximum temperatures are expected to be as low as 3C (37.4F) and 6C (42.8F), respectively.
The colder air will make continued slow progress southwards until midweek. Romania’s capital, Bucharest, is expected to see temperatures drop by 12C (53.6F) on Tuesday while Italy’s capital, Rome, will see temperatures no higher than 11C (51.8F) on Wednesday.
The drop in temperatures will be accompanied by outbreaks of light snow.
Heavier snow will fall as new weather systems develop across Spain and parts of the Balkans throughout Tuesday and Wednesday.
Al Jazeera and news agencies