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Heavy snow blankets Moscow  print

Published on January 21, 2013 by   ·   No Comments

Unusually heavy snowfall of almost 50 centimetres (20 inches) in Moscow caused traffic jams on Monday but did not affect flights at city airports, which are well equipped for snowstorms.

The snowfall over the last four days in Moscow exceeded the average for the whole month of January, Moscow Deputy Mayor Pyotr Biryukov said.

“Over the last four days, 50 centimetres of snow has fallen in Moscow. Since the start of the month, 65 centimetres has fallen, while the average for the first month of the year is 42 centimetres,” Biryukov said, quoted by the Interfax news agency.

He added that street cleaners and snow ploughs had removed 2.5 million cubic metres (88 million cubic feet) of snow over the last four days.

On Monday morning rush-hour traffic crawled at an average speed of 30 kilometres (19 miles) per hour and slowed to 10 kilometres per hour on some highways, a spokesman for the city transport department told Interfax.

The city’s three commercial airports were not affected by the weather.

“Takeoffs and landings are going ahead as normal in the Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo airports. There are no cancellations or delays due to the weather conditions,” a spokesman for the air traffic control centre for Moscow airports told Interfax.

The Russian weather centre warned of a “very cold” week in European Russia.

In Moscow, temperatures were predicted to fall to minus 19 degrees Celsius (minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday night, and then to minus 21 C on Tuesday night.

The most extreme temperatures are predicted in Magadan in Far East Russia, where they could fall to minus 49 C (minus 56 F), and in central Siberia where they could fall to minus 52 C.

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