Rain, mountain snow and colder conditions are in store for search, rescue and recovery operations in the Van, Turkey, area which was hit by a deadly and devastating earthquake this past weekend.
A large storm will form and stall over the region this week, bringing progressively chilly and unsettled weather conditions.
Reports indicate that from hundreds to thousands of people may remain buried under collapsed buildings and other structures in the Lake Van region of Turkey. Sources say at least 25 survivors were pulled from rubble during the day Monday.
The AccuWeather.com Forecast calls for rounds of rain in the Van metro area and wet snow or a mixture of rain and wet snow over the elevations overlooking the city.
Van is the largest city in the region hit by the earthquake and is home to over 370,000 people. Thousands of people live outside the city in the region.
Hypothermia is an added risk to those trapped in debris and those left homeless following the 7.2-magnitude quake.
Similar in elevation to Denver, Colo., the city of Van is approximately 5,450 feet (1,660 m) above sea level. However, different than Denver with its open plains to the east, Van is surrounded by mountains with some ridges topping 10,000 feet (3,050 m).
In the Van metro area, temperatures will dip into the 30s (0 to +3 C) at night and may spend a large part of the day in the 40s (+4 to +8 C) during the day. Fortunately, winds are expected to be rather light much of the week in the Lake Van Basin.
According to World Weather Expert Meteorologist Jim Andrews, "There are dozens of smaller towns and villages in the mountains surrounding Van, including homes in remote areas over higher elevations that will receive wet snow this week."
In the outlying higher elevations, temperatures will dip into the 20s (-1 to -4 C) at night and may only rise to a few degrees above freezing (+1 to +4 C) during the day. Winds in the higher elevations will result lower AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures by several degrees.
"Wet snow could mix down to the Van metro area during this week with the chilly storm," Andrews added.
According to the United State Geological Survey (USGS), some of the population in the region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquakes of this magnitude.
According to the USGS, over 370,000 of the population in the region was exposed to violent shaking (red ring) and other 67,000 were exposed to severe shaking (orange ring) during the earthquake.
Ongoing aftershocks for days will continue to pose a risk to those remaining in weakened structures and others attempting rescue.
The Lake Van area of Turkey is considered a semi-arid, high-altitude region.
From late fall to early spring is considered the wet season with November being the wettest month of the year.
"The area has experienced immobilizing snowstorms, especially in places that overlook the bowl-shaped high basin of Lake Van," Andrews added.