An Icy Start to Winter

Recent storms and plunging temperatures have encrusted regions of Germany, Austria, and Hungary in thick sheets of ice. Freezing fog and icy rain coated nearly every surface, leaving road signs and trees looking like works of abstract art. The weather has closed some schools and left residents without power as crews work to clear heavy tree branches from roads, buildings, and power lines. [18 photos total]

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1
A sign for the village of Schneeberg, (literally, "Snow Mountain"), covered with ice, in northern Austria on December 3, 2014. Freezing fog and rain has covered parts of the region with ice, causing blocked roads due to fallen trees and closed schools for security reasons, local media report. (Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader) #
2
A bench covered in ice on Buda Hills in Budapest on December 3, 2014. Tens of thousand of homes on the outskirts of Budapest went without electricity this week as freezing rain blanketed the area and falling trees cut power lines, Hungary's Disaster Relief Agency said. (Reuters/Bernadett Szabo) #
3
Branches of a tree, covered with ice near Amstall in northern Austria, on December 2, 2014. (Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader) #
4
A car drives past a sign post covered in snow and ice on the 750-meter-high Hoher Meissner mountain near Hessisch Lichtenau, Germany, on December 2, 2014. (Uwe Zucchi/AFP/Getty Images) #
5
A forester approaches ice-covered trees near Kottes in northern Austria, on December 2, 2014. (Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader) #
6
Cars drive past trees covered in snow and ice on Hoher Meissner mountain near Hessisch Lichtenau, Germany, on December 2, 2014. (Uwe Zucchi/AFP/Getty Images) #
7
A bush with red berries, covered with ice on the road near Dobogoko, 40 km north of Budapest, Hungary, on December 2, 2014. (AP Photo/MTI, Attila Kovacs) #
8
A forester cuts branches of ice-covered trees near Kottes, Austria, on December 2, 2014. (Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader) #
9
Ice-covered trees on Taubenberg mountain near Warngau, Germany, on December 2, 2014. (Reuters/Michael Dalder) #
10
Branches of ice-covered trees, near Kottes, Austria, on December 2, 2014. (Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader) #
11
A roadside shrine, covered with ice, near Himberg, Austria, on December 3, 2014. (Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader) #
12
An ice-covered road sign near Amstall, Austria, on December 2, 2014. (Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader) #
13
A deer runs between trees of a snow-covered forest on Grosser Feldberg mountain in the Taunus region of western Germany on December 3, 2014. (Frank Rumpenhorst/AFP/Getty Images) #
14
Ice-covered leaves on a tree near Amstall, Austria, on December 2, 2014. (Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader) #
15
A roadside shrine, covered with ice near Reichpolds, Austria, on December 3, 2014. (Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader) #
16
A parked car is covered with ice in Lichtenau, northern Austria, on December 3, 2014. (Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader) #
17
An ice-covered tree near Amstall, Austria, on December 2, 2014. (Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader) #
18
A road sign covered in ice and snow, with a smiley face, on Grosser Feldberg mountain in the Taunus region of western Germany on December 3, 2014. (Frank Rumpenhorst/AFP/Getty Images) #

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