Home > Akashma, Australia, Weather > Down to -50C: Russians freeze to death as strongest-in-decades winter hits (PHOTOS)

Down to -50C: Russians freeze to death as strongest-in-decades winter hits (PHOTOS)


Posted on December 20, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Published on Dec/19/2012 by RT

RIA Novosti / Yakov Andreev

Russia is enduring its harshest winter in over 70 years, with temperatures plunging as low as -50 degrees Celsius. Dozens of people have already died, and almost 150 have been hospitalized.

­The country has not witnessed such a long cold spell since 1938, meteorologists said, with temperatures 10 to 15 degrees lower than the seasonal norm all over Russia.

Across the country, 45 people have died due to the cold, and 266 have been taken to hospitals. In total, 542 people were injured due to the freezing temperatures, RIA Novosti reported.

The Moscow region saw temperatures of -17 to -18 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, and the record cold temperatures are expected to linger for at least three more days. Thermometers in Siberia touched -50 degrees Celsius, which is also abnormal for December.

RIA Novosti / Aleksey Malgavko

The Emergency Ministry has issued warnings in 15 regions, which have been put on high alert over possible disruptions of communication and power.

Across the country, heat pipelines have broken down due to the cold. In southeastern Russia’s Samara, the cold has broken down many heat pipelines, leaving hundreds of homes without heating, including an orphanage and a rest house. Many schools and kindergartens have been closed for almost a week.

The cold spell, along with snowfalls, has disrupted flights all over the country, and led to huge traffic jams. In the southern city of Rostov-on-Don some highways were closed due to snowfalls over the past two days, triggering a traffic collapse.

RIA Novosti / Aleksey Malgavko

More cold in the capital

Over the weekend, meteorologists predict temperatures will plunge even lower in the Moscow region, hitting -25. The Russian capital is also expected to be swept with snow, RIA Novosti reported.

Temperatures have been 7 degrees lower than the norm for five days already, which is considered an anomaly, according to the Meteonovosti.ru website. The cold spell in the Moscow region is expected to continue for at least three more days.

Due to the high humidity, these freezing temperatures will feel even colder than they actually are, meteorologists explained.

Other notable blizzards: Armistice Day Storm (November 11–12, 1940), The Great Midwest Blizzard (January 26–27, 1967), Blizzard of 1978 (February 6–7, 1978), Superstorm of 1993—also dubbed the “Storm of the Century” (March 12–13, 1993); Blizzard of 1996 (January 7, 1996).

Lowest temperatures in history

The Great White Hurricane
The Blizzard Of 1888: March 11–March 14, 1888

Blizzard of 1888, 14th St. between 5th and 6th Avenues looking West, March 1888 Read more: The Blizzard of 1888 — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/spot/blizzard1.html#ixzz2Fbqazu6w

The most famous snowstorm in American history, the Blizzard of 1888, has acquired an almost legendary status. Although there have been many heavier snowfalls as well as significantly lower temperatures, the blizzard’s combination of inclement conditions has been unmatched in more than a century.

The U.S. Weather Service defines a blizzard as a storm with winds of more than 35 miles an hour and snow that limits visibility to 500 feet or less. A severe blizzard is defined as having winds exceeding 45 miles an hour, visibility of a quarter mile or less, and temperatures of 10 degrees F or lower.

Major Blizzards in the U.S.

1888
Jan. 12, Dakota and Montana territories, Minn., Nebr., Kans., and Tex.: “Schoolchildren’s Blizzard” resulted in 235 deaths, many of which were children on their way home from school.
March 11–14, East Coast:Blizzard of 1888” resulted in 400 deaths and as much as 5 ft of snow. Damage was estimated at $20 million.
1949
Jan. 2–4, Nebr., Wyo., S.D., Utah, Colo., and Nev.: Actually one of a series of winter storms between Jan. 1 and Feb. 22. Although only 1 ft to 30 in. of snow fell, fierce winds of up to 72 mph created drifts as high as 30 ft. Tens of thousands of cattle and sheep perished.
1950
Nov. 25–27, eastern U.S.: “Storm of the Century” generated heavy snow and hurricane-force winds across 22 states and claimed 383 lives. Damages estimated at $70 million.
1977
Jan. 28–29, Buffalo, N.Y.: “Blizzard of 1977” dumped about 7 in. of new snow on top of 30–35 in. already on the ground. With winds gusting to 70 mph, drifts were as high as 30 ft. Death toll reached 29, and seven western N.Y. counties were declared a national disaster area.
1978
Feb. 6–8, eastern U.S.: “Blizzard of 1978” battered the East Coast, particularly the Northeast; claimed 54 lives and caused $1 billion in damage. Snowfall ranged from 2–4 ft in New England, plus nearly 2 ft of snow already on the ground from an earlier storm.
1993
March 12–14, eastern U.S.: “Superstorm” paralyzed the eastern seaboard, causing the deaths of some 270 people. Record snowfalls (with rates of 2–3 in. per hour) and high winds caused $3 billion to $6 billion in damage.
1996
Jan. 6–8, eastern U.S.: heavy snow paralyzed the Appalachians, the mid-Atlantic, and the Northeast; 187 were killed in the blizzard and in the floods that resulted after a sudden warm-up. Damages reached $3 billion.
1999
Jan. 1–3, Midwest U.S.: major blizzard and sub-zero temperatures wreak havoc in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio; 73 were killed in the blizzard and transportation systems in the region were paralyzed. Damages reached about $500 million.
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