• The freeze is so deep that horses — and even Rudolph — are brought indoors to warm up.

This is not a week when there was any evidence of global warming in western Siberia, with thermometers plunging to the minus 40s and minus 62 Celsius. Meteorologists say it may get colder still.

At Bolshoe Olkhovskoe oilfield there was a new record for the Khanti-Mansi region with a bone-crushing temperature of minus 62C. The village of Kazym in the same district of Beloyarsky hit minus 58C.

Eyelashes got frosty extensions from nature’s own cosmetics, as our amazing pictures show. Beards turned prematurely white.

A video was posted entitled: ‘Surgut men are so hardy they only ride on a swing and eat ice cream at minus 51C.’

In Nadym, it nudged minus 50C, and all schools were closed. In Tyumen, school classes were cancelled from grades 1 to 9, with minus 36C the trigger for children to stay home, although elsewhere in Siberia — for example Yakutia in recent weeks — students are still expected in school at below minus 52C.

Nizhnevartovsk hit minus 50C, the coldest winter in ten years in the city. School classes were cancelled today — and for the rest of the week.

Such temperatures happen in eastern Siberia, but in the west they are more rare.

One consequence is the price of a taxi. It has risen threefold because of the deep freeze.

‘Many people simply could not start in their engines,’ explained one local. ‘Due to this, the number of customers increased. But the number of our taxis remain the same, and some our cars also could not start.’

Some flights from Nizhnevartovsk were cancelled, intercity buses were also halted. Road police recommended drivers to postpone long distance and intercity trips.

Flights in Surgut and Khanty-Mansiysk were delayed or aborted.

Some 40 trucks were marooned  around 50 km from Noyabrsk in temperatures drivers claimed were hitting minus 60C.

Later reports said that lorries had begun to move again.

The governor of Khanty-Mansi autonomous region Natalia Komarova had to cancel a seasonal celebration for children.

But many locals are quite happy with the cold. In Surgut a woman was cycling at minus 43C.

Swimmers in Urai and Nizhnevartovsk continue plunging into ice holes or pour cold water over themselves. One popular trick in such temperatures is to throw hot water into the air and see what happens: here is one example.

Surgut photographer Mikhail Batenyov walked around his freezer city. At around minus 40C.

He told his Vkontakte social media page: ‘To me, as a lover of mystery and horror, it seemed that I was in a hodgepodge of movies like ‘Something’, ‘Mist’ and ‘Silent Hill’.

‘I added a warm sweater, an extra pair of socks and one scarf to my suit, and in this outfit went for a walk in the evening in Surgut. My mobile discharged literally 5-10 minutes after I uploaded a video to my Instagram.

‘My favourite city died as every minute passed. If in the afternoon there were some passers-by, by 8 pm on the streets was amazing to meet anyone.

‘I went home happy and contented, tired of this crazy but interesting day.’
Locals posted amazing pictures of animals on social media.

A horse was taken the stairwell of an apartment block in Nefteyugansk. And in Tarko-Sale, a reindeer. It looks like Rudolph needed warming up ahead of his big week …

Despite the deep freeze, no significant delays were reported on the 9,289 kilometre Trans-Siberian railway connecting capital city Moscow with the Pacific port of Vladivostok.

Source: The Siberian Times

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