Late-winter blasts like these are nothing new for central Europe, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.
In fact, Germany refers to it as Marzwinter, or "March winter," Miller said. The phenomenon occurs in mid-March when, after a period of spring-like warmth early in the month that often coaxes trees and flowers to begin to bloom, cold northerly winds bring mid-winter type weather back to the country.
True to form, last week there were seven consecutive days of above-average temperatures in Frankfurt.
The mercury peaked Saturday with a high of 17 degrees Celsius (about 62 degrees Fahrenheit), the kind of temperature usually expected in mid-May. On Tuesday, however, winter returned with a vengeance, dropping 12 centimeters (4.7 inches) of snow on the city by noon.
In addition to the snow, winds have gusted to 50 and 60 kph (31 to 37 mph), creating whiteout conditions and making travel even more difficult.
Northern France took the brunt of the storm, with some locations seeing up to 40 centimeters (nearly 16 inches) of snow. Gusty winds have created snow drifts a meter deep or more in places.