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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow Slammed With 7 Centimeters of Snow

Itar-TassSnowplows clearing Tverskaya Ulitsa as up to seven centimeters of snow blanketed the city Tuesday, tying up traffic and delaying airplanes.
Moscow was dealt its heaviest snowstorm of the year Tuesday, with up to seven centimeters blanketing the city.

The storm caused even bigger traffic jams than usual and some disruption at airports.

Snowplows cleared city streets nonstop, Marina Orlova, the spokeswoman for the city's Communal Services Department said on Ekho Moskvy radio.

Twelve-thousand plows and other snow-clearing machines were dispatched. Streets were doused with chemicals to dispel snow.

Police urged Muscovites to avoid the roads, to no avail. Yandex.ru's traffic-congestion meter clocked a 9 — the worst rating that can be assigned — at 7 p.m.

Sheremetyevo Airport was briefly closed during the afternoon to clear snow. And throughout the day, Moscow's main airports were operating under special conditions; pilots were allowed to decide for themselves whether to take off, a Central Air Traffic Control Center spokesman said.

Moscow media greeted the snowstorm — the biggest following the unseasonably warm weather that gripped the city for much of December and January — with unusual apprehension after reports of up to twenty centimeters of snow falling. "The End of the World Comes to Moscow Roads" and "A Snowy Armageddon will Cover Moscow" were two of the headlines on newspaper web sites.

"It is typical February weather," said Tatyana Pozdnyakov?, the chief specialist at the Moscow Meteorological Center, saying they predicted no more than seven centimeters. Wet snow would fall Wednesday, she said, and temperatures would rise to zero degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, Roman Vilfand, director of the Federal Meteorological Service, said all of European Russia could expect an earlier spring than usual.

"We don't expect that March will be cold," Vilfand said, Interfax reported. "Air temperatures will be close to and higher than the norm."