It's two months into the winter, and much of Europe has become mantled in unusually deep snow cover.

Snow cover of a foot or more, while common each winter in the Russian heartland, northern Ukraine and Belarus, has stretched westward over the plains of Poland into northern Germany this winter.

As of early this week, snow depth was near 10 inches as far west as Hamburg, a city that often has bare ground at the dead of winter. About a foot of snow buried Berlin with 20-inch depths registered widely along the Baltic shore.

Fresh light snowfall on Tuesday bolstered a 21-inch snow depth at Warsaw, and in the Czech capital, Prague, snow lay 10 inches deep.

Other areas of deep snow spread along and near mountains such as the Alps, the Carpathians, the Transylvanian Alps and the higher ranges of the Balkan Peninsula. Unusually deep snow reached onto lowlands in Romania and northern Bulgaria.

To the west, snow cover tapered to an edge from Netherlands to central and southern France.

As for the United Kingdom and Ireland, the abnormally widespread and deep snow cover has all but melted with significant leftovers found only on hilltops.

By's Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews