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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Winter's Over, Say Engineers

Winter is over -- or at least those who control Moscow's heating system say it is.

Although a cold snap in the nation's capital sent the mercury to near freezing the past several days, city regulations spell out that once average daily temperatures hit 8 degrees Celsius five days in a row, central heating must be turned off.

That mark was reached Saturday, May 3, causing city engineers to start the shutdown process.

After two balmy days above 20 degrees, many Muscovites were left shivering in their apartments when temperatures fell to 4 degrees Sunday, and near zero early Monday. But others were given a reprieve by the extended May Day holidays, which slowed the complicated process of cutting off the heating supply, building by building.

"What do you want? Yes, not every local housing management turns the heating off in time. But there were national holidays," said Valentina Serova, an engineer in the city's housing department.

Anatoly Yakovlev, spokesman for Federal Hydro-Meteorological Services, said the current weather is "pretty normal" for May, although he added: "I'm now forced to use an electric heater in order not to freeze."

But he said temperatures will reach as high as 20 degrees on Tuesday and the ensuing days.