https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

Did Moscow Really Only Get 6 Minutes of Sunlight In December?

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/world/europe/moscow-darkness-sunlight.html ...This article, which came up in my feed the other day, claims that Moscow might as well have been an abyss throughout December. Now, a question for people who actually live there: Was it really that bad as this makes it sound? Or do you think American media is painting the situation (or lack thereof) to be worse than it really was? No offense; I thought it would be interesting to see what real residents there were thinking.

January 20, 2018

30 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter594672

Haha, this type of articles is a classic "man, I've got to write something and nothing happens!" crisis.

Short days are normal in winter for any location this far away from the Equator. Because the Earth has not changed it's spinning angle, nothing has changed here as well. Cloudy weather is also normal. We do get our light, but it's diffused. This kind of weather is not a disaster, it's okay for winter here.

This winter is indeed not the best one though, because we only received our snow for Christmas. No, the Orthodox Christmas, so it was one week in January already. For the whole December everything was not white and shiny like it is supposed to be (and like it never actually is because of the defrosters) but dull and dark in colors. This is unusual, and and of course the global warming mongers can be expected to stand on the tips of their toes prophesying the near end of the world, but I often recite Pushkin to them:

В тот год осенняя погода
Стояла долго на дворе,
Зимы ждала, ждала природа.
Снег выпал только в январе
На третье в ночь.

Translation by Ch.Johnston:

That year the season was belated
and autumn lingered, long and slow;
expecting winter, nature waited --
only in January the snow,
night of the second, started flaking.

Translation by J.E.Falen:

The fall that year was in no hurry,
And nature seemed to wait and wait
For winter. Then, in January,
The second night, the snow fell late.

So, it's either that the global warming had been way on its way in late 1820s when Evgene Onegin was written, or it's just ordinary weather fluctuations.

Don't panic (and maybe check where your towel is).

I liked it today: slightly below zero (about -5... -8 Celsius), ankle deep snow and still snowing, no wind, ambient light... It was nice, really.

January 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

Nice, thank you for your comment). About such 'global warming mongers' I feel the same way. It is almost like they wish the world to end. "Yes, I finally agree, and you and everyone will die tomorrow. Happy now?" ) When it does become dark for most of the day or cloudy often, how do Muscovites cheer themselves (other than to drink, haha)?

January 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter594672

We don't. We never smile - remember? ;)

I mean, jokes are usually the way, same as in the rest of the world, I guess :)

January 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/msgur

хорошее четверостишие, надо запомнить) Я зимой частенько повторяю другие строчки из Онегина

"Уж поздно, в санки он садится.

"Пади, пади!" - раздался крик.

Морозной пылью серебрится

Его бобровый воротник."

January 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kundoo

In my opinion it was an ordinary, unremarkable December, just like most Decembers here. But what this article got right is that the summer was really cold this year. We'd got only three weeks of relatively hot weather, and there was even some snow in June (which is highly unusual for Moscow in case you are wondering).

January 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

Snow in June! Someone in Australia must have not wanted it and sent it your way)

January 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter594672

Speaking of which, I hear you guys get it unusually cold and snowy this year in the US. As if we didn't want our snow in December and sent it all your way ;)

How cold it it there where you are?

January 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

The coldest where I live about 7 degrees Fahrenheit, in the past week or so. Some places it was 0 F further north and there were wretched blizzards. Places like Atlanta got an immense amount of snow and the rest of us got ice that prohibited us from going where we needed to. Places like New Hampshire, the snow and ice was so deep it buried cars. A few people died I think:-0. Everyone was so scared it would be like the last time where they would be stuck on the road for days that the kids were out of school an ungodly amount of time)))

January 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter594672

Sorry to hear that people suffered... but... Wow, that sounds like exactly the weather I am missing here! Could you please arrange for it to be delivered to Moscow?

7°F is about -14°C, and that'd be no news in January here. 0°F is around -18°C, and that's expected to be for about 2 midwinter weeks or so. I really miss that squeaky sound the snow makes when it's cold enough, and I think it's really wrong to not have it in winter.

On ice and snow: while "studded or studless" is one of the holy war topics prohibited on many Russian forums along with religious matters, my communications with Americans show that they tend to disregard winter tires wholly and entirely. And you describe a picture in which you would like to put a good set of those to quite some use...

No tires will help of course if the car is literally buried under the snow (that 'Lake effect' of yours is capable of doing things we don't have here), but they do make it possible to get away and make it to a relatively safe place before being buried.

I also remember being out of school for several days in my childhood, but that was when the temperature pierced the -25°C (-13°F) on its way down to -30°C (-22°F).

But all that seems to be hardly appropriate so far to the South as the bulk of the USA is. FWIW, NY is at about the same latitude as southernmost bits of Russia.

January 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

We would gladly give it back in trade for our 100 F summers:). And yes, we don't have the resources especially in the southern parts for that kind of condition. We don't even have stores that sell that kind of gear clothes-wise in a lot of states!

January 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter594672

We would gladly give it back in trade for our 100 F summers:)

Sorry, we can't afford such a deal, I'm afraid. Like comrade Kundoo has said, we don't have any of those summers. 85°F tops, no more. Personally, I'd give it away (I feel myself baked at anything over 77°F), but even that is a rare occasion, so I just can't. :(

January 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

Comrade Peter, how will you find yourself able to travel to the country whose language you have learned so well :)? Now I know why Russians I know are pale and vacation up north! 100 F is nuthin' ;P

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter594672

Comrade Peter, how will you find yourself able to travel to the country whose language you have learned so well :)?

Well, thanks for the compliment. As to travelling, I think I do have some options available. First, you guys still have Alaska. Then there are Canada and the UK. And finally I could dash really really fast between places with conditioned air, and only walk around at nights. The latter would be exceptionally easy because of the time zone difference. I only hope that my pale skin and midnight stalking will not attract any vampire hunters.

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

(I forget, Russians do not carry guns, thus it makes for safer streets….so if someone was going to get you they would have to get close enough)))…but in the US, it's not very safe to walk out at night, particularly if someone thought you were a vampire, haha. I suggest the air conditioning idea, and get one of those hats that's like the Chinese plate style). Disney, you and your family must experience that in the middle of the summer, it's like a right of passage or something XD https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_conical_hat do you ever have to wear sunscreen in Russia?

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter594672

do you ever have to wear sunscreen in Russia?

Not unless you spend plenty of time in the sun. And even then many people do well without any hats whatsoever. It remains much more about picking an outfit that looks good than about a vital necessity, although our doctors do recommend wearing hats while in the sun.

An Asian hat does not go well with my long nose. So I've got something like this and pompously wear it around for like 10 exceptionally sunny days a year. )))

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

You would find that with a hat like that, blending in at Disney World would be no problem at all)))everyone wears those!

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter594672

everyone wears those!

Really? And here people (okay, not all of them, but many) look at me as if I was some Mr. Fancy Pants playing cowboy or something. :( And it's just that the hat is really comfortable ))))

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andresb_UY

here, very far away in Uruguay It becomes very usual to see, in fact, in my pic you can see one of them and now, in full summer i live with one of them in my head.

The Sun here in the south is a real danger and after a while your skin will hurt, really.

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

Well it doesn't always invoke a look of seriousness with the wearer))). But have they ever been sunburned? That is the question!

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andresb_UY

Who are "they"?

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter594672

It's the reply button that goes missing after some five replies.

Who are "they"?

I assume "they" was for my compatriots who look at me as if I was playing Clint Eastwood when I'm wearing that hat ))))

But have they ever been sunburned?

I believe they have. But getting sunburned takes longer here. So, unless you're deliberately sunbathing or have to work outdoors in an especially sunny day, it's either that you reach the indoors you've been heading to before you get enough UV to get burned, or the sun gets obscured by clouds to the same effect. So, there is little practical need for a hat most of the time. Like I said, I wear mine for just a few days a year.

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andresb_UY

Ok thanks, i suppossed it but asked anyway.

Note: Clouds do not filter UV.

here in the south we have the "ozono hole" and its very obvius the danger of the Sun.

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andresb_UY

The bronze color is because of the infrared rays, the UV just gives you a good cáncer (and they are not filtered by clouds or glasses as the infrared.)

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

I also remember being out of school for several days in my childhood, but that was when the temperature pierced the -25°C (-13°F) on its way down to -30°C (-22°F).

The cold event I remember from my childhood is this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_North_American_cold_wave#Minneapolis%E2%80%93St._Paul

The governor closed all schools in Minnesota (this was unheard of) because of temperatures of -26°F (-32°C) in the morning and wind chills in the -50 to -60 F range. Temperatures like this probably happen at night during most winters in Minnesota. What was different was that this would have been in the midst of the school day. I would have thought such conditions would show up pretty frequently in Russia. Just not in Moscow?

February 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter594672

I would have thought such conditions would show up pretty frequently in Russia. Just not in Moscow?

Russia is big, and there are places where is it usually cold. So, there are regional regulations on how cold it should be to get your school closed, and the threshold is lower in the south.

In Moscow it is usual to have about two weeks of about -20°C with the rest of winter being much milder and keeping within -5°C to -15°C with occasional excursions towards zero, but there are places where winters are much colder normally, while in the south like in Sochi the average January temperature is about +5°C

Also, winters are different from year to year. For instance the winters during WWII happened to be extremely cold with temperatures dropping as low as -40°C around Moscow, which is highly unusual.

February 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

Well I have a knit rainbow and silver hat and I get plenty of looks but it's cute and I know they secretly want one)))

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter594672

I'm sure you look stunning in that hat ))))

Note: Clouds do not filter UV.

Perhaps they reflect and disperse some, and the angle helps?

Anyway, the fact is that while it takes me about half an hour in the sun to get red skin (and to probably lose some of it later) somewhere around the northern Mediterranean, the solar exposure requires to be about four times as long for the same effect to be achieved in the vicinity of Moscow. And the night falls faster than the effect can be achieved if it's cloudy.

I don't know why, but I blame thank the clouds combined with the longer distance the oblique rays have to travel trough the atmosphere.

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

Thanks, it stuns for sure, лол). And cloud cover helps a bit, though really the UV index is the most of an issue. If that is high it doesn't concern itself with cloud cover

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andresb_UY

There is a way to really know that for any place and time in the world

https://drive.google.com/file/d/107xiyZhWu6Pmob6N6mH8e7McgTcuJWff/view?usp=drivesdk

Enter ti www.sunearthtools.com search for a city and look the graphic on the map

Enjoy it!

January 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

Nice! Thanks)

January 20, 2018
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