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Storm Warning Announced as Heavy Snow Hits Moscow

WikimediaCommons/Andrei Romanenko

A day after predictions of rapidly falling temperatures this week, Russian meteorologists have a message for Muscovites: the weather will get worse.

The Moscow authorities have declared a storm warning, as meteorologists predict heavy snowfall and continually descending temperatures in the coming 24 hours.

Today, Jan. 5, up to 9 millimeters of precipitation (equal to about 4 inches of snow) could hit Moscow. This is more than 20 percent of the average monthly precipitation — 42 millimeters — a representative of the federal Rosgidromet meteorological service told the Rosbalt news site.

According the Rosgidromet,  the majority of the snow – up to 7 millimeters – has already fallen overnight, when meteorologists predicted heavy snowfall and even blizzard conditions in some areas.

Nonetheless, the extreme weather will continue throughout the day, meteorologists say. 

Heavy northern winds will continue to blow cold air masses into Moscow and the surrounding region, while cyclone air patterns will bring snow and winds of 5-10 meters per second. In some places, gusts of wind will reach speeds up to 17 meters per second.

Temperatures will drop significantly this evening after the snowfall finishes, reaching minus 23-28 degrees Celsius by Friday night. On Saturday, as Orthodox believers mark Christmas, temperatures will fall to minus 23-29 degrees Celsius.

The average daily temperature on Saturday will be 14 degrees below the climatic norm, meteorologists say.

Earlier, the Fobos meteorological center reported that temperatures could drop to a frigid minus 31 degrees in some parts of Moscow and the surrounding region Saturday.

The cold snap has already led to dozens of flight delays and cancellations at Moscow’s airports.

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