Matthew Burk: Goodbye, unexpected snow

I was shocked and amazed like most Italians to see a blanket of fresh snow last Monday. Students were excited to find out about school closures and some celebrated in snowball fights. The recent snow, froze traveling in much of Italy due to the Icey conditions: Traffic was halted, Flights were delay and residents were asked to limit traffic.
I was rejuvenated by this snow storm. For a brief moment, it reminded me of home. I took this weather as a sign of coming to the realization that I am now a resident of Italy. As the weather changed so rapidly, I found myself hastily changing also. This weather is described as rare and unexpected in Italy. People took the snowstorm as a blessing or a curse.
This photo was taken from my apartment in Viterbo, Italy. Shortly after, I walked outside and took a stroll around Viterbo. I wanted to see the beauty and havoc that the storm produced. I witness, only a handful people out walking the streets and even fewer cars.
In Viterbo and Rome is not well equipped to deal with an infrequent event of snowfall. The city quickly reacted blowing the streets and informing Italians of freezing temperatures. In certain cities, the homeless were told to seek refuge. Authorities responded and detained homeless found sleeping in the streets to protect them from the sub-zero temperatures.
This storm was due to a split of the polar vortex due to warming in the stratosphere. This resulted in two smaller vortices: One over Western Canada/ Northwestern America and the other in the heart of Europe. This lead to colder temperatures to most of Europe’s Countries and creating harsh winter conditions in Rome and Most of Italy. The warmer Mediterranean Sea naturally prevent harsh winter conditions in Italy.
In any condition, I took this rare snowstorm as a blessing. I witnessed such beauty that hasn’t been seen in Italy for six years. I instantly called friends and family to tell them that even though it was a fluke storm, that it did snow in Italy.