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MOSCOW, December 4 (Itar-Tass) – A heavy snowstorm enveloped the entire territory of the Moscow region in the small hours of Tuesday.
Weather forecasters said a cyclone that has moved to Russia from the Balkans and has mixed up with warm southern masses of air along the way is likely to produce a snow cover 12 centimeters to 13 centimeters thick.
The snowfall is accompanied by an eastern wind that blows at 5 to 10 meters per second and may have gusts of up to 15 to 20 meters per second.
Forecasts indicate that the snowfall will continue in the later hours of the morning, too, while the air temperature, which showed minus 5 degrees Celsius at the time of reporting, is likely to climb to 2 degrees later.
“This may produce aggregations of wet snow on the wires of power transmission lines,” an official at the Moscow mayoralty warned.
Also, the authorities issued recommendations to car owners to consider options to going to work in their private cars later in the day, even though the full force of Moscow City’s street cleaning teams and the whole fleet of snowplows has been brought into the cleaning effort and it spraying the streets with anti-icing chemicals.
Officials say that preference in this situation should apparently be given to public transport.
Moscow city and Moscow region’s Bureau of Hydrometeorology have circulated the so-called storm warning, according to which “snowy weather with an occasional of intensification of the snowfall, blizzards, icing on the roads, and the accumulation of snow banks is possible.
Moscow’s road police have asked the people driving private cars to exercise maximum possible caution on the roads, to keep safe distances between cars, to avoid chaotic maneuvering and abrupt braking.
In addition to this they alerted the Muscovites to the necessity of observing strictly the rules of cautious driving, including the scrupulous observance of speed limitations.
Moscow Railway workers put the entire fleet of snowplowing machinery on alert.
“Teams of track repair workers will join the snowplows if need be and the workers of other departments will join them, too,” an official said. “The workers of all the services are prepared to keep all the works under unrelenting control.”
Last week, Moscow fell into grips of a snowfall, the intensity of which made it unprecedented over a period of more than 50 years. The snowstorm reined in the city and the region for almost two days and the precipitation of snow on the ground totaled one-sixth of an averaged amount of snow that falls out during the year.
The snow banks on the roads, which the road maintenance services had no chance to remove on time, produced a true transport collapse on the automobile roads.