So at the request of my mother, and because I've been meaning to do it for a while, here's a second installment about the cold here. So here you go. All teperatures are Celcius unless otherwise noted.
First off, from what I've heard, some of the other siberian cities such as Irkutsk, are experiencing record breaking cold with temperatures hitting -55. I would just like to say that here up north in Yakutsk, we're still experiencing a warm winter. From what I've heard, the coldest the temperature's been so far this winter is -48 which for Yakutsk is pretty warm.
There is a major temperature difference between the -30s and -40s. It's like somewhere between -35 and -45 it goes from being "Just really really cold" to being "oh my word it's so cold I can't stand it." When the temperature is in the latter you don't want to be outside. If you have to walk even short distances you can feel your nose going numb and your skin stings. And if there's any wind at all, you'd better pray.
I remeber there were times in Ohio where I'd be standing outside, waiting for the bus, or walking to russian class and I'd be freezing my butt off and be thinking "Oh man, it would be so much warmer if we didn't have this wind!" Thankfully, we don't get a lot of wind here in Yakutsk. But if you think the wind chill gets bad in Ohio, imagine how bad it is when it's -40 and there's wind. NOT FUN!
We have another interesting phenomenon here that I've probably mentioned before. You see when the temperature hits a certain point of coldness, snow can't fall. It's just too darn cold. But you still have moisture in the air. So what happens? Well you get this thing called туман the english word for it is fog. This ain't your momma's fog either. This is like really uber thick fog that hangs in the air you know that saying about "fog so thick you cut it with a knife?" Well this fog is thicker. And it doesn't really burn off when the sun comes up. Hence the reason why even when it's light out, it sometimes doesn't feel very light because it's foggy and the sun is hidden.
Speaking of which, As soon as the polar nights were over (Jan 20th if you remember) it started getting lighter, and I mean lighter. Over the winter, it wouldn't start getting light until after 9am. This morning I was walking from the bus stop to school, it was about 8am and already the sky was lightening. I was pretty excited because earlier when it was eight o'clock, it would still be pitch black.
I've had two people tell me that the worst of the cold is over, and I believe it. You see there's no difference in temperature, but there's a difference in the air, it's like the air isn't so sharply cold, I find myself being able to be outside with less layers on, though part of that might come from the fact that I've been living in a colder house and therefore it's easier to stand the cold outside. This morning there was a bit of a wind, but to my shock and amazment it wasn't freezing cold, in fact, it felt rather warm.
I'm not saying that we won't have a few more cold snaps, I'm just saying that I think spring is going to be showing up soon.