Moscow mayor whips up a storm as wrong weather hits town
Tuesday 14 April 1998
An angry Mr Luzhkov has threatened to sever all ties with Russia's national weather service after it failed to give any warning of the past two days of terrible weather, which have buried the capital under at least eight inches of snow.
Such matters are taken seriously by the mayor, not least because the city has to fork out large sums of money on emergency teams of sweepers, salters and icicle removers. He made no secret of his annoyance when the national forecasters, who predicted temperatures of 9C to 11C, turned out to be spectacularly wrong. It was "a deception", said the mayor's spokesman. Such "disinformation" has happened all too often this winter, and "bad forecasting has cost Moscow a great deal of money". The capital, he said, was contemplating starting its own weather service.
Nor was Mr Luzhkov, who is famously outspoken, alone in his outrage. The national weather service yesterday found itself fielding call after call from indignant Muscovites. A hapless weather-service official was wheeled on to a prime-time television programme wryly entitled "Hero of the Day".
The weather has special resonance for Muscovites, not least because it has done much to secure the capital's survival. The Russian winter helped to destroy Napoleon's invading army and kept Hitler at bay.
Last September, Mr Luzhkov tried to take personal control of it, dispatching aircraft into the skies to seed the clouds with iodine pellets to prevent them raining on Moscow's lavish 850th anniversary celebrations. Success was limited: on the final day of the jamboree, the heavens opened.
But not all Mr Luzhkov's subjects will share his irritation. Tonight, Spartak Moscow is to play the second leg of a Uefa cup match against Inter Milan. Russians often complain that they cannot achieve much in spring because the change of season affects their biorhythms. Today's conditions should suit the fans just fine.
- 1 JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 4 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 5 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
The biggest ranch in America, larger than the whole of London, has gone on sale for $725m
Melissa McCarthy's brilliant response to one sexist question posed to her on the red carpet by a male reporter
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...