Winter in Yakutia, real Siberia
Are you tired of heat, warm winds or never-ending baking sun above your heads? Welcome to Yakutia in winter! Find warm clothes and go on an exciting journey to the coldest place in the northern hemisphere. Here what you need to know about the Yakutian winter.
In the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) winter reserves more than 6 months.
Autumn is short and chilly. This is time when frost tends to come unexpectedly. At the beginning of October it is ordinary to see abundant snowfall. It takes five days to cover the land of Yakutia with the thick blanket of snow. Strange though it may seem, the start of winter appears to be kids' favorite time. It is not enough cold yet. Ones can go for long walk, admire the changed city or village and, of course, do snowball battle.
Snow remains unmelted till May. Fifty or seventy millimeters precipitations cover from November till March due to predominant anticyclone. Snow may fall in flocks or random flakes. On cloudless day descending snow might be fine or dry.
Rare snowstorms may happen in the beginning and end of the coldest season. The Yakutian winter is remarkable for severe frosts.
Mean temperature is minus 40Ц45 degree centigrade. In December and January temperature can go below minus 50 degree centigrade. Kids do not go to school and stay at home when it is Ц42°C outside. Adults do not have such privileges. They should work in any circumstances!
Without warm clothes Ц fur coats, fur-cap, high fur boots or valenki, and bound or fur gloves, it is impossible to endure the Yakutian winter. That's why public transportations, mostly buses and cabs, are in great demand. Private cars tend to be kept in garages for cold season.
In the height of winter, fog is so thick that it is impossible to see anything even at the distance of two meters. Especially in cities, fog becomes more opaque as a result of exhaust gases, smoke and dead calm. Opacity and icy conditions of roads are the main reasons of most car accidents and crashes. Drivers are forced to switch on headlights and ride at low speed.
Actually every Yakutians feel discomfort with extreme cold. The lack of sunlight and warmth affects people's health. Chill, tonsillitis and influenza seem inevitable.
The Yakut folklore has a legend about the Bull of Cold that is the unofficial symbol of winter. The mythical animal grows stronger when frost gains ground and it weakens in the firsts days of spring. It is believed that it breaks the first horn on 1st February, it loses the second one on 12th February and it starts melting since 24th February.
We do hope that we help you gain some insight in our winter. But it's better to feel it once. Don't you think so? If you want to get the strongest impression of Yakutia, just come and see.
Written by Alexandra Markova, Yakutsk State University student.
Photo by Bolot Bochkarev.
Yakutsk. Life in winter. Written by Ken Black.
Cars in Yakutia. Written by Yulia Rodina.