Russian Language Blog

Fall Weather, Foul Weather Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

The next couple of days in Moscow are expected to be пасмурные (overcast) and холодные (cold). Синоптики (meteorologists) say there might be a chance of снег (snow). But the experience has taught us that метеорология (meteorology) is not exactly точная наука (an exact science). On the other hand, the gloomier the forecast, the more chances that it сбудется (will come to be).

It is not that I have little faith in метеорологи (meteorologists) on either side of the Atlantic. It’s rather that the approaching зима (winter) put me in a pessimistic frame of mind. Of course, I try to fight this mood by calling to mind verses drilled into my head back in school:

Унылая пора! Очей очарованье!

Приятна мне твоя прощальная краса

A melancholy time! So charming to the eye!

Your beauty in its parting pleases me…

waxed poetically Alexander Pushkin. (This is all fine and dandy as long as you don’t read how late Fall reminds him of the beauty of a young girl dying from consumption).

He didn’t have to deal with прогноз погоды (weather forecast) that promises an entire week of облачность (overcast skies). Not even лёгкая or переменная облачность (partly cloudy), but свинцовое небо (leaden sky) with not a glimpse of the sun.

У природы нет плохой погоды (Nature has no bad weather)? As if! Каждая погода – благодать? (Every kind of weather is a delight). Baloney!

Sure, осень (autumn) has some очарованье (charm) – золотая осень (golden autumn), бабье лето (indian summer), бархатный сезон (a few weeks in late-August through early-September in the Russia’s southern resorts) all come to mind. But once, in the words of another literary classic, нивы сжаты, рощи голы (fields are harvested; groves are bare), it’s time to stop oohing and aahing over the weather and face the grim truth – winter is coming.

Winter in Russia has its own особенности (peculiarities). It always catches you unprepared, it seems. Зима опять пришла не вовремя (Once again winter arrived all of a sudden), as they say.

First come заморозки (cold spells), then temperatures get further and further ниже ноля (below zero). Remember, it’s градусы Цельсия (degrees Celsius) in Russia. As the joke goes, холодно у нас только шесть месяцев. Остальные шесть – очень холодно. (It’s cold here for only six months. The other six months it’s very cold.)

Then there is snow, lots of it. And the roads get even crazier! Such an unexpected coming of winter means not all drivers had time to change летняя резина (summer tires) to зимняя резина (winter tires) or get used to driving on snow and ice-covered roadways.

But you know, it’s not all bad news. First, you can score some really cheap tickets to Russia this time of the year. And then, метеорологи (meteorologists) are oftentimes way off: бабушка надвое гадала – либо дождь, либо снег, либо будет, либо нет (even the grandma wouldn’t know whether it will rain or snow; we shall see what we shall see). Keep calm and drink hot tea!


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  1. james:

    Love your blog. Read it every chance I get!