Moscow hit by rare ‘black blizzard’ (VIDEOS)
Moscow is already going through its first major snowfall. Meteorologists have described the weather pattern over the Russian capital as a “black blizzard” – a phenomenon usually encountered in the Far North, when snowflakes fly almost parallel to the surface, decreasing visibility to around 100 meters.
The snowfall that started on Sunday intensified overnight, with 35% of the monthly average of precipitation already falling in the city, according to the FOBOS weather center.
The head of Russia’s Hydrometeorological Center, Roman Vilfand, warned that “it’s going to be one of the strongest snowfalls that ever happened in November.” According to Channel One, Moscow last experienced extreme end-of-autumn weather like this back in 1977.
The city became snarled up by traffic jams as the snowbanks grew 16 centimeters in a matter of hours. The transport department has called on drivers to leave their cars at their parking spots and switch to public transport. At least eight flights were canceled and around 40 others delayed at Moscow’s airports due to the freak weather.
The city authorities say they have sent more than 50 units of specialized equipment and up to 1,500 workers to the streets to clear the snow.
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has said the heavy precipitation will continue well into Tuesday, with the snow cover growing by at least another four centimeters, according to forecasts. He also warned of strong winds in the city.
The situation could be further complicated by a warmer spell – with freezing rain and slippery roads expected in the capital as temperatures climb above zero Celsius, the mayor said.