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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

From Spring to Winter and Back Again

A gust of arctic air has dashed the hopes of Moscow residents who thought spring was finally at hand, bringing below-freezing temperatures, icy winds and flash snowstorms that have disappeared as quickly as they began.

But a warm front is on the way, bringing relief to those who can't wait for spring and disappointment to those hoping for one last day of skiing or ice-skating in Moscow parks.

The sudden cold front that surprised northwestern Russia on Saturday should last until midweek, with temperatures dropping through Wednesday.

Then a warm front should push temperatures up to 9 degrees to 14 degrees Celsius by Saturday, said Maria Atapina, meteorologist on duty in the Moscow laboratory of the Federal Meteorological Service.

"It won't last for long, this cold air. It's already being overtaken by warm air from over the Atlantic Ocean," she said.

The warm weather of late last week gave way Saturday to sporadic snow flurries and temperatures around freezing. Monday afternoon a metel, or whirling snowstorm, turned the sky white, but by evening the sky had cleared and little trace of the snow was left on the ground.

Atapina said a gust of arctic wind that swept down from the Ural Mountains region was to blame for the wide variety of meteorological phenomena on display in Moscow over the weekend.

"When we have cold air up very, very high, and it's very cold, at about 40 degrees below zero 5.5 kilometers high, it creates conditions for cumulus clouds and bursts of snow that arise and pass very quickly," Atapina said.

She said temperatures have been averaging 3 degrees lower than usual.