Russia’s Urals region has been hit with freak winter weather, with severe snowstorms causing massive traffic jams, flight delays, power blackouts and school closures.
Just when everybody in the cities of Ekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk
thought they had waved winter good-bye and was anticipating
greener spring weather, blizzards dragging the region back to
Having heard the forecast for snow, internet users were taking photos of the frail Urals spring that was proclaimed doomed by meteorologists.
Those would later be used in “before and after” collages with “goodbye summer” hashtags.
“We have snow falling the whole day without stopping,”
an Instagram user wrote. “It’s sweeping severely, everything’s
white. My daughter even wanted to go for a snow-tubing ride.”
Winter struck the region hard, with precipitation twice the monthly average coming as a shock to already burgeoning grass and trees.
Chelyabinsk made headlines across the world last year when a huge
meteorite rocked the region.
These late April blizzards have led to numerous online jokes over
the region’s “misfortune.”
“Chelyabinsk’s somewhat harsh,” one Twitter user wrote. “They either have meteorite or snow at the end of spring.”
The sudden return of winter has led to chaos on the region’s highways.
“My parents have been stuck in a traffic jam for 17 hours
already… Severe Chelyabinsk spring…” a Vkontakte (Russian
social network) user, Maria, wrote.
Many of the drivers have already changed their winter tires for summer ones, making vehicles clumsy on icy roads.
Local police have recorded 700 road accidents in the Central Urals region.
Twenty-three children who were returning to Tyumen from
Ekaterinburg, where they had participated in competitions, had to
be evacuated by rescuers from a 40 kilometer-long traffic jam.
Tens of thousands of people in towns across the snowstorm-struck region were left without electricity, following snow-induced power line disruptions.
Chelyabinsk authorities had to shutter schools on Saturday.
Rough weather has led to numerous flight delays at airports in Chelyabinsk and Ekaterinburg. Some of the passengers had to spend up to 16 hours waiting for their flights which only resumed Saturday morning.
Urals meteorologists have said the last time the region was struck by a snowfall of such severity in springtime was 123 years ago. They’ve found an April 26, 1891 issue of “Ekaterinburg Week” magazine that reported how the region witnessed “even more snow fallen than throughout the whole winter”.