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*BRUTAL* cold in Yakutia, Russia in the past days – several stations reported 55-57 °C below zero!

Northeastern Russia (Yakutia region, Siberia) is a well-known place for extreme cold, with the Verkhoyansk Range being the coldest area in the Northern Hemisphere. Oymyakon and Verkhoyansk are the towns where record cold low temperatures are at 67.8 °C and -71.2 °C. This weekend, the pattern over that part of Asia brought a strong upper-level ridge, resulting in the development of the surface high-pressure system. This usually means the extremely cold will become even more brutal – and so it did! Several stations in the Yakutia region recorded down to -57 °C!

Here are the minimum temperatures over Yakutia from Jan 24th to 26th (Friday-Sunday):

Detailed daily extremes for Ekyuchchyu, Delyankir, Oymyakon and Verkhoyansk stations through this month, January 2020 – notice the daytime maximum temperatures are not really much higher. They even stayed below -50 °C yesterday! Indeed, there is a polar night and the thermal inversions are so intense, there is hardly anything which could mix the air mass (cold pools) in the valleys:

Minimum temperatures across Eurasia and zoomed-in view over Yakutia as of this morning, Jan 26th:

See the sounding diagram from Oykyakon today at 00 UTC (local morning) – the air mass near the ground is so cold, it’s not even on the graph :) One can easily see how strong the thermal inversion is, below -53 °C while there is only -30 °C at 2000 m ASL (approx 1300 m above the surface):

Some reports from the region via Facebook page: