Temperatures in Siberia dip to minus 56 Celsius as record snow blankets Moscow


  • World
  • Monday, 04 Dec 2023

A communal worker cleans snow at the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (VDNH) during a heavy snowfall in Moscow, Russia December 3, 2023. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Temperatures in parts of Siberia plummeted to minus 56 degrees Celsius (minus 69 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday while blizzards blanketed Moscow in record snowfall and disrupted flights as winter weather swept across Russia.

In the Sakha Republic, located in the northeastern part of Siberia and home to Yakutsk, one of the world's coldest cities, temperatures fell below minus 50 C, according to the region's weather stations.

In Oymyakon, an area in Sakha, the temperature was recorded at minus 56 degrees Celsius on Monday evening.

Russian forecasters said it would feel like more than minus 60 degrees Celsius in Oymyakon given the wind and humidity and that temperatures would fall further overnight.

"In the European part of Russia, in the Urals and Siberian territories, the frost is expected to increase in the first week of December," Russia's national meteorological service said.

Almost all of Sakha is located in the permafrost zone. In the region's capital, Yakutsk, which lies some 5,000 km (3,100 miles) east of Moscow, the temperature was around minus 44 C to minus 47 C.

Temperatures of minus 50 C have become less common in recent years because of climate change, with permafrost showing increasing signs of thawing.

In the Russian capital, some of the biggest snowfalls ever seen on Dec. 3 left swathes of Moscow blanketed in drifts of more than 35 cm of snow in just one day.

Flights were delayed at some of Moscow's airports.

Temperatures in Moscow and the region around the capital were forecast to fall to about minus 20 C later this week. In the Urals, temperatures are forecast to fall to minus 40 C this week.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne and Guy Faulconbridge in MoscowEditing by Jamie Freed and Gareth Jones)

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