It Gets Cold In Siberia!

Thought that I would pass on a little tidbit of information about what is called the Pole of Cold! This thinking came about because a good reader (Ludmila) of ours commented about the -59 C. weather we where having in Siberia. So we started to look around….

The Northern Pole of Cold: There are several places in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Siberia, Russia which vie for the honor to be considered the “Pole of Cold”. These are Verkhoyansk (located at 67°33′N, 133°23′E) and Oymyakon (located at 63°15′N, 143°9′E).

In the Southern hemisphere, the location of the Pole of Cold is much more clearcut: in Antarctica near the Russian (formerly Soviet) Antarctic station Vostok at 78°28′S, 106°48′E. On July 21, 1983, this station recorded a temperature of −89.2 °C (−129.8 °F) This is the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth.

Russia is a vast country comprising a large part of eastern Europe and the whole of northern Asia. The traditional geographical division between Europe and Asia is the Ural mountains, which split the country from north to south in about longitude 60°E. The whole of northern Russia is within the Arctic Circle.

Weather Warnings That Are Being Issued!!!:

Moscow – Expected temperatures of as low as minus 55 degrees Celsius (minus 67 degrees Fahrenheit) in Siberia prompted weather warnings from Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry on Wednesday.

The ministry warned the unusually cold weather could kill, cause frost-bite, cut electricity to homes, disrupt transport, increase the rate of car accidents and even destroy buildings across Siberia.

In a statement, the ministry ordered regional departments to be on high alert and to contact local administration officials to prepare for the extreme chill expected to last until January 21.

Average temperatures in large Siberian cities in January usually range between minus 15 degrees Celsius and minus 39 degrees Celsius, according to data from the US site

Two people have already died in the region of Irkutsk in central Siberia, Russian state television reported. More than 30 others have been hospitalised in Irkutsk with frost-bite.

The freezing temperatures have also caused overloading of electricity grids because of heaters being switched on. That caused cut-offs to thousands of homes in the regions of Irkutsk and Tomsk, state media reported.

Schools have been closed down in at least four regions because of the cold. – AFP

What does Weather in Russia Mean?
In this large country climate ranges from cold Arctic conditions to hot desert and subtropical lands where tea and rice are grown. The dominant feature of Russian weather and climate is the extreme cold of winter, which prevails in all but a small part of the south of the country. This harsh Russian winter has helped to defeat invaders such as Napoleon and Hitler, and it affects most aspects of Russian life even today.

Adaptation to the Russian winter is a necessary but difficult process. Anyone intending to visit the country between late October and April should study the temperatures in the accompanying tables and take appropriate clothing! Only Antarctica, Greenland, Alaska, and Northern Canada experience comparable cold, frost, and snow as are found in winter over most of the Russian Federation.

Surprisingly, over much of the country temperatures in summer are quite warm, even during the short summers in northern and eastern Siberia. There is a rapid rise of temperature in spring, the season of the thaw (rasputitsa), and an equally rapid fall of temperature in the autumn.

In effect, over much of the country there are only two seasons, winter and summer. This is a characteristic feature of what climatologists call a continental climate, and some of the best examples of this can be found in the Russian Federation.

There are two principal reasons for the cold of the Russian winter: the great size of the land mass of Europe and Asia, which means that the country is isolated from the moderating influence of warm ocean waters; and the high latitude of much of the country with a northern coastline on the Arctic Ocean, which remains frozen for most of the year.

The severity of the Russian winter is significant for transport. Except in the extreme south of the country the rivers are frozen for prolonged periods in winter and inland water transport comes to a halt. Road transport is also difficult and therefore the railways and air services are particularly important. The period when rivers are completely frozen varies from 70 days a year in the west of the country to as much as 250 days in northern Siberia.

It is a good general rule that the severity and length of winter increase eastwards. The only harbours that are normally ice free throughout the year are those on the Black Sea coast and around Murmansk and Archangel, where the influence of the Gulf Stream from the Atlantic raises sea temperatures. A shipping route from the Atlantic to the Pacific along the Arctic coast is kept open for brief periods in summer with the aid of powerful ice-breakers.

So intense is the cold in winter that northern and eastern Siberia experience a phenomenon called permafrost. Here the subsoil remains frozen all year although the topsoil may thaw out during the summer. This raises special problems for building construction and the laying of pipelines.

Almost everywhere in the country precipitation is rather low. In some of the major grain-producing areas of southern Russia, drought can drastically reduce crop yields in some years.

Spring and early summer months are the wettest over much of the country with rainfall of the showery, thundery, type. Winter snowfall, although frequent, is rarely very heavy and strong winds, the buran or blizzard, often sweep the ground bare of snow.

So as you can see Russia has some rough weather!

Thanks Ludmila,

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

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