Weather (6)

Breathtaking Photos of the Coldest City in the World


Think we’re having a brutal winter? Think again. 

The valley of Oymyakon in northeast Russia is known as the 'Pole of Cold' and it is no wonder the village is the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world. This is the lowest recorded temperature for any permanently inhabited location on Earth and the lowest temperature recorded in the Northern Hemisphere. This area truly experiences the 'Russian winter' as it is know around the world.

The village is located around 750 metres above sea level and the length of a day varies from 3 hours in December to 21 hours in the summer. And despite its extreme cold temperatures in winters, in June, July and August temperatures over 30C are not uncommon. In August as the weather beings to change, the temperature can easily drop down to -15C or jump as high as 30C.

The Pole of Cold is located not far from Kolyma Highway (also known as the Road of Bones) which was made in the 1930's by Stalin's prisoners.. The road starts off from Yakutsk and heads off up to Magadan and surmounts three major mountain ranges, which in combination with other climatic factors create the unique climate of the area.

The village was, in the 1920s and 1930s, a stopover for reindeer herders who would water their flocks from the thermal spring. Ironically, Oymyakon actually means 'non-freezing water', but even alcohol freeze here.

Astoundingly, around 500 Siberian people make their homes in this seemingly uninhabitable environment, mainly engaged in traditional occupations such as reindeer herding, hunting and fishing. In the last few years, another small, specialized industry has emerged here, tourism.

Every year in March a traditional Russian festival is held in the Pole of Cold, the coldest place on earth. It unites experienced travellers and locals who can be regarded as true explorers of the World. Even Santa Claus, of Lapland, and Russian Ded Moroz, of Veliky Ustug, have visited and founded their residences here. These fabulous heroes meet their colleague Chyskhaan (the Lord of Frost) who is considered the Pole of Cold host.

During the festival, you visitors witness lively celebrations showcasing the traditional costumes, music and dance of the indigenous Evens people as well as reindeer racing, ice fishing, dog sledding and native cuisine.

The place is worth visiting! It is something to do at least once in a life-time. Those people who have been to this place can be called "True subjugators of Earth". Visiting Oymyakon in winter is arguably one of the most Russian things to do in Russia.

56th Parallel is a travel company specializing in adventure, culture and adrenaline travel and activities in Russia and Siberia.


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Do You Have Icicles Hanging From Your Gutters? What You Need to Look For If You Do

If you have icicles hanging from your gutters, you could be looking at serious roof repair in the very near future. Those icicles mean that there is ice damming up in your gutters and the water from thawing is not going down your drainpipe. That water has to go somewhere. Unfortunately, it will wick itself right up into your roof rafters and can even damage the roof structure itself. If you have icicles hanging from your gutters, go up into your attic or crawl space to make sure there is no water damage on the rafters. This water damage will freeze and thaw causing stress on your roof structure. Also, be sure to check around windows directly below the icicles because our bow window leaked inside the house. If you see any water in your attic, be sure to have a roofing contractor come out and take a look at possible repairs instead of waiting until your roof starts to leak.

A gutter ice dam will form if your gutters are in the shade or their temperature is at or below 32 degrees. If more chilled water flowing down from the snow melting off your roof hits the ice already forming in your gutters, it starts to build a layer of ice in your gutters. This can happen very quickly, and the buildup of ice can grow an inch or more an hour just like an ice maker in your refrigerator.

Installing gutter caps can minimize ice-damming under the fascia or under the first row of your shingle roof. gutter caps are mounted over the first row of shingles and under the second row because the second row is usually insulated in the attic of your house, where the edge (first row) is not. If the ice-damming happens often in your gutters, you may want to think about heater caps. Heater caps mount on the top of your gutter protection and in the gutters themselves. A heat cable is also fed into your downspouts. The heat cable is hard wired into your circuit breaker. Since the cable is hard-wired, keeping the snow and ice out of your gutters is as easy as flipping a switch! The installation can be done on partial or whole house applications. Once a heater cap is installed, your existing gutter system will now flow freely and your roof drainage system will protect against ice and snow build-up.

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What Causes an Earthquake?



An Earthquake is a sudden movement of the earth's surface.  While an earthquake can be caused by a volcanic eruption, most of the earthquakes around the world are caused by Tectonic plate activity.  Tectonic Plates are always moving slowly but they can get stuck together at their edges due to friction. When the pressure on the edges becomes too much they suddenly, explosively release causing energy waves to travel through the earth's crust and that is the shaking that we feel. 

This type of energy is called seismic energy waves. The strength of an earthquake is measured on the Richter Scale, a number is given to the magnitude or strength of the seismic energy released. 

An earthquake with a Richter Scale Magnitude of 3 or lower we don't usually feel. When it reaches a magnitude of 7 or greater, serious damage can be caused. The largest earthquakes in historic times have been of a magnitude of slightly over 9.

Geologist call the point deep underground where the earthquake explosion took place "the focus." The point on a map directly above that is called the "epicenter" of the Earthquake.

Watch the video below for more information:



What Causes a Hurricane?


What is a Hurricane?

A Hurricane is a vast tropical storm that has winds whipping around at speeds up to 200+ miles per hour (mph)!  It is actually a type of tropical cyclone but when the wind speed reaches 74 mph than it is classified as a Hurricane.  Hurricanes are formed by the energy and heat of warm ocean waters, that is why they "die off" once they hit land.  

When is Hurricane season?

Since Hurricanes need warm ocean waters to be created and then survive, the United States does not experience Hurricanes in the winter.  Hurricane season in the United States is from June through November.

How does a Hurricane get its name?

When the winds of a tropical storm reaches 39 mph it is given a name. The first one at the beginning of each Hurricane season starts with the letter A, then B, then C and so on through the alphabet.  Originally, all Tropical Storms/Hurricanes were given women's names but starting in 1979 they began alternating between male and female names. The list of assigned names for the next several years can be found at this link to the National Weather Service.

How are Hurricanes classified?

They are classified from Category 1 to Category 5 using The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (below.) The category terms can be relative because lower category hurricanes can sometimes inflict greater damage than higher category storms depending on where they hit land.

In addition, often a lot of damage is caused by the tremendous amount of rain that falls creating floods.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

Intensity Wind Speed Damage
 Category 1  74 - 95 mph MINIMAL: tree branches down, scrubs uprooted, unanchored mobile homes effected
 Category 2  96 - 110 mph MODERATE: mobile homes & poorly constructed buildings damaged, some trees down
 Category 3  111 - 130 mph EXTENSIVE: small buildings damaged, large trees down, mobile homes destroyed
 Category 4  131 - 155 mph EXTREME: outer walls damaged, roof failure on small buildings, extensive damage to doors and windows, mobile homes destroyed
 Category 5  > 155  CATASTROPHIC: complete roof failure on many buildings, some buildings destroyed, severe window and door damage, mobile homes destroyed


Hurricanes of any Category are dangerous so please be prepared and be very careful! Here is a link to the USA Government website section How to Prepare for a Hurricane.


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