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Major, record-breaking snow blankets Moscow, Russia


A major snowstorm described by meteorologists as a "snow apocalypse" has descended on Moscow, Russia, beginning Thursday, February 11, 2021. The capital city saw disruptions, travel delays, and a record snowfall for February 12. Russian weather service Fobos noted that the wintry blast on Saturday, February 13, was around 75 percent of the average February snowfall.

Snow started falling late Thursday, sticking to roads and car windshields. By Friday morning, February 12, windows had a thick rim of snow at the bottom.

Russian meteorological service noted that the snowfall for February 12 broke the previous record set for the date in 1973. As it kept snowing into Saturday, benches in parks were under a snow depth of 56 cm (22 inches).

The amount of snow was close to surpassing a record high of 60 cm (23.6 inches) for accumulated snow for February 13.

"It's a real snowstorm, a snow Armageddon, a snow apocalypse," said Evgeny Tishkovets from weather service Fobos. "This is not a practice alert, but a combat alert."

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The major snowstorm led to hundreds of flight delays and heavy traffic in many places, which was unusual for a weekend. Some residents resorted to using skies as they traversed downtown. Meanwhile, some businesses stayed open as business owners tried to keep their doorways clean.

About 60 000 people were working on the streets to clear layers of snow, along with 13 500 units of equipment, said the city's deputy mayor, Pyotr Biryukov.

Fobos said the weekend's wintry blast was noteworthy, even for Moscow, which is no stranger to snow squalls, as about 75 percent of the average February snowfall descended on the city on Saturday.

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By the time the heavy snow slowed down on Sunday, February 14, vehicles were buried under heaps of snow. Residents continued clearing roads with shovels, along with city cleaners.

According to Rosgidromet spokeswoman Maria Makarova, the "snow apocalypse" was a result of a cyclone from the north, which first picked up cold air that mixed with hot air over the Black Sea, before heading back up towards central Russia.

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Featured image credit: @NadinFrog/Twitter


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