Moscow brings in fake snow in time for New Year festivities after record-breaking warm December
The country known for its rough winters has seen a relatively mild stretch so far. On Dec. 18, the city broke a 1886 record whern when temperatures rose to 41 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Moscow Times.
Temperatures in the capital usually run around 21 degrees in December, allowing for snow to stick. But due to warmer temperatures this year, over the weekend local authorities decided to truck in snow and place it along main avenues in the city center.
Snow was also dumped in notable sites such as Red Square and one of Moscow’s main avenues, Tverskaya, as sites in the city center are closed off to traffic for the holiday, according to the BBC.
The sight of trucks and other construction equipment drew many city residents to post photos on social media over the weekend.
“With the Moscow budget you can buy everything. Even winter,” one person commented.
Even though it appears that Russian authorities tried to give city residents the feeling of an authentic winter, many expressed disappointment.
“It’s not festive at all,” one person told the Moscow Times, while another added, “It’s already turned beige or gray.”
City officials were quick to respond to claims that additional money was spent to truck in the artificial snow, saying it came from the city’s ice rinks and will be used to create snowboarding slopes.
“The city did not incur any additional costs,” Alexei Nemeryuk, the head of the Moscow Trade and Services Department, told the Russian Interfax news agency.
A return to winter appears likely in time for the arrival of 2020, with snow flurries in the forecast.
Earlier this month, the head of Russia’s weather forecasting agency, Roman Vilfand, said that 2019 has been Russia’s warmest year on record, the BBC reported.