It's two months into the winter, and much of Europe has become mantled inunusually deep snow cover.Snow cover of a foot or more, while common each winter in the Russianheartland, northern Ukraine and Belarus, has stretched westward over the plainsof Poland into northern Germany this winter.

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

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

Other areas of deep snow spread along and near mountains such as the Alps, theCarpathians, the Transylvanian Alps and the higher ranges of the BalkanPeninsula. Unusually deep snow reached onto lowlands in Romania and northernBulgaria.

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

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

By's Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews