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Record Cold Sweeps Moscow After Snowstorm

Construction workers seeming a bit lightly dressed amid the cold Tuesday. Vladimir Filonov

This week's two-day snowstorm was likely the last this spring, but abnormally cold weather will persist over the next few days, making this March the coldest since the 1950s, weather forecasters said Tuesday.

"According to early forecasts, no significant precipitation is expected in Moscow," the federal weather bureau told Interfax. "Another wave of snow is possible in the Moscow region on Saturday, but this time will be accompanied by slightly warmer temperatures."

More than 70 centimeters of snow has fallen on the city since early March, which is more than double the month's normal precipitation. The two-day snowstorm that ended Monday night dumped about half of March's average precipitation on the city.

Meanwhile, forecasters said the temperatures would slide on Tuesday and Wednesday to minus 15 degrees Celsius. Last week, the temperature dropped to minus 25 degrees, a 50-year low for late March. The temperature is 8 degrees colder than the average for this month.

"Such temperatures were observed in 1942, in the early 1950s, and at the end of the 19th century," top meteorologist Roman Vilfand said on Rossia-24 television. "According to our estimates, such cold weather occurs every 30 to 40 years."

Meteorologists said the unseasonably cold weather was a result of unusually warm temperatures in the Arctic that pushed cold currents toward the Russian mainland.

The abnormally cold spring also has prevented birds from migrating north from their wintering grounds, according to the Union of Bird Conservation in Russia.

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