Support The Moscow Times!

Record Snowfall Prompts New Year Jokes

Plows clearing Manezh Square during record-breaking snowfall Monday. More than a third of March’s average precipitation had fallen on the city by the afternoon, diverting flights and bringing traffic to a standstill. A top meteorologist said such snowfall happens once in 30 to 40 years. Igor Tabakov

Russians are known to celebrate the Old New Year, an informal holiday marking the start of the new year on the Julian calendar, on Jan. 13, extending the festive winter mood for two weeks.

But with yet another heavy snowfall blanketing the capital on Monday, some Muscovites were seized by the holiday spirit even now, with April just around the corner.

"I look out the window and can't help but think, 'Sheesh, it's the new year soon,'" opposition leader Alexei Navalny tweeted Monday morning.

The snowstorm, which began Sunday morning, was a less joyous occasion for many drivers and airline passengers. More than a third of March's average precipitation fell on the city by Monday afternoon, bringing traffic to a standstill and diverting 13 flights overnight.

On Monday morning, the heavy snowfall created chaos on the roads, with 20 kilometers of bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Moscow Ring Road, Interfax said. Traffic jams occurred on other major thoroughfares as well.

The Emergency Situations Ministry warned that the snow would reduce visibility on roads and cause other hazards, raising the risk of accidents and injuries.

Overnight, 13 airplanes headed for Sheremetyevo Airport north of Moscow and Vnukovo to the city's west were diverted to Domodedovo Airport in the southeast because they were unable to land in the snowstorm.

Top meteorologist Roman Vilfand said that such unusually cold weather occurs in March once in 30 to 40 years, RIA-Novosti reported.

Weather forecasters said light snow would continue overnight and into Tuesday. Partly sunny skies are expected the rest of the work week, with no more snow.

Related articles:

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more