Oymyakon

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Oymyakon

Оймякон
Other transcription(s)
 • YakutӨймөкөөн
Landscape near Oymyakon in February 2013
Landscape near Oymyakon in February 2013
Location of Oymyakon
Oymyakon is located in Russia
Oymyakon
Oymyakon
Location of Oymyakon
Oymyakon is located in Sakha Republic
Oymyakon
Oymyakon
Oymyakon (Sakha Republic)
Coordinates: 63°27′39″N 142°47′09″E / 63.46083°N 142.78583°E / 63.46083; 142.78583Coordinates: 63°27′39″N 142°47′09″E / 63.46083°N 142.78583°E / 63.46083; 142.78583
CountryRussia
Federal subjectSakha Republic
Administrative districtOymyakonsky District
Elevation
745 m (2,444 ft)
Population
 • Total462
 • Estimate 
(February 5, 2018)[Videos 1]
500–900
 • Municipal districtOymyakonsky Municipal District
Time zoneUTC+10 (MSK+7 Edit this on Wikidata[2])
Postal code(s)[3]
678752
Dialing code(s)+7 41154
OKTMO ID98639405101

Oymyakon (Russian: Оймяко́н, pronounced [ɐjmʲɪˈkon]; Yakut: Өймөкөөн, Öymököön, IPA: [øjmøˈkøːn]) is a rural locality (a selo) in Oymyakonsky District of the Sakha Republic, Russia, located along the Indigirka River, 30 kilometers (19 mi) northwest of Tomtor on the Kolyma Highway. It is one of the coldest permanently inhabited settlements on Earth.[4]

Etymology[edit]

It is named after the Oymyakon River, whose name reportedly comes from the Even word kheium, meaning "unfrozen patch of water; place where fish spend the winter."[5] However, another source states that the Even word heyum (hэjум) (kheium may be a misspelling) means "frozen lake".[6]

Geography[edit]

Oymyakon has two main valleys beside it. These valleys trap wind inside the town and create the colder climate. However, children are still allowed to go to school if it is warmer than −55.0 °C (−67.0 °F).

History[edit]

During World War II, an airfield was built there for the Alaska-Siberian (ALSIB) air route used to ferry American Lend-Lease aircraft to the Eastern Front.[7]

Over the last few decades, the population of Oymyakon has shrunk considerably. The village had a peak population of around 2,500 inhabitants when it was a central town of the region,[when?] but that number has dwindled to less than 900 in 2018.[Videos 1]

Climate[edit]

With an extreme subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfd/Dwd), Oymyakon is known as one of the places considered the Northern Pole of Cold, the other being the town of Verkhoyansk, located 629 km (391 miles) away by air. The ground is permanently frozen (continuous permafrost).

There is a monument built around the town square commemorating a reading in the 1920s of −71.2. This was shown on the Australian program 60 Minutes in a 2012 documentary.[8] On February 6, 1933, a temperature of −67.7 °C (−89.9 °F) was recorded at Oymyakon's weather station.[9][10] This was the coldest officially recorded temperature in the Northern Hemisphere. Only Antarctica has recorded lower official temperatures (the lowest being −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F), recorded at Vostok Station on 21 July 1983).[11][12]

The weather station is in a valley between Oymyakon and Tomtor. The station is at 750 meters (2,460 ft) and the surrounding mountains at 1,100 meters (3,600 ft), causing cold air to pool in the valley: in fact, recent studies show that winter temperatures in the area increase with altitude by as much as 10 °C (18 °F).[13]

Some years the temperature drops below 0 °C (32 °F) in late September and may remain below freezing until mid-April. In Oymyakon sometimes the average minimum temperature for January, February and December remains below −50 °C (−58 °F). Sometimes summer months can also be quite cold, but June and July are the only months where the temperature has never dropped below −10 °C (14 °F). Oymyakon and Verkhoyansk are the only two permanently inhabited places in the world that have recorded temperatures below −60.0 °C (−76 °F) for every day in January.[14][15]

Oymyakon has never recorded an above-freezing temperature between October 25 and March 17.[16]

Although winters in Oymyakon are long and excessively cold, summers are mild to warm, sometimes hot. The warmest month on record is July 2010 with an average temperature of +14.7 °C (58.5 °F).[citation needed] In June, July and August temperatures over 30 °C (86 °F) are not rare during the day. On July 28, 2010, Oymyakon recorded a record high temperature of 34.6 °C (94 °F),[17] yielding a temperature range of 102.3 °C (184.1 °F). Verkhoyansk and Yakutsk are the only other places in the world with a temperature amplitude higher than 100 °C (180 °F).[citation needed]

The climate is quite dry, but as average monthly temperatures are below freezing for seven months of the year, substantial evaporation occurs only in summer months. Summers are much wetter than winters.

Climate data for Oymyakon (1981–2010), extremes 1891–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) −16.6
(2.1)
−12.5
(9.5)
2.0
(35.6)
11.7
(53.1)
26.2
(79.2)
31.1
(88.0)
34.6
(94.3)
33.1
(91.6)
23.7
(74.7)
11.0
(51.8)
−2.1
(28.2)
−6.5
(20.3)
34.6
(94.3)
Average high °C (°F) −42.5
(−44.5)
−35.4
(−31.7)
−20.8
(−5.4)
−3.7
(25.3)
9.1
(48.4)
20.0
(68.0)
22.7
(72.9)
18.2
(64.8)
8.9
(48.0)
−9.2
(15.4)
−30.7
(−23.3)
−42
(−44)
−8.8
(16.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) −46.4
(−51.5)
−42
(−44)
−31.2
(−24.2)
−13.6
(7.5)
2.7
(36.9)
12.6
(54.7)
14.9
(58.8)
10.3
(50.5)
2.3
(36.1)
−14.8
(5.4)
−35.2
(−31.4)
−45.5
(−49.9)
−15.5
(4.1)
Average low °C (°F) −50
(−58)
−47.3
(−53.1)
−40
(−40)
−23.9
(−11.0)
−4.7
(23.5)
4.0
(39.2)
6.2
(43.2)
2.6
(36.7)
−3.7
(25.3)
−20.4
(−4.7)
−39.3
(−38.7)
−48.8
(−55.8)
−22.1
(−7.8)
Record low °C (°F) −71.2
(−96.2)
−67.7
(−89.9)
−60.6
(−77.1)
−46.4
(−51.5)
−28.9
(−20.0)
−9.7
(14.5)
−9.3
(15.3)
−17.1
(1.2)
−25.3
(−13.5)
−47.6
(−53.7)
−58.5
(−73.3)
−62.8
(−81.0)
−71.2
(−96.2)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 6
(0.2)
7
(0.3)
5
(0.2)
6
(0.2)
13
(0.5)
34
(1.3)
45
(1.8)
39
(1.5)
23
(0.9)
14
(0.6)
12
(0.5)
8
(0.3)
215
(8.5)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 3.0 2.6 1.4 1.8 3.2 6.6 8.7 7.7 5.1 4.9 4.0 3.0 52.0
Average rainy days 0 0 0 0 10 17 17 18 13 1 0 0 76
Average snowy days 23 23 16 10 9 1 0 0 9 21 23 20 156
Average relative humidity (%) 75 74 72 68 60 59 65 70 73 79 77 74 71
Mean monthly sunshine hours 28 118 244 284 282 304 298 236 151 113 58 13 2,129
Source #1: Погода и Климат,[18]January record low[19]February record low[20][21]
Source #2: NOAA (precipitation days and sunshine hours)[22]

In the media[edit]

Oymyakon has been featured in a number of television series:

  • The episode "The Winter's Tale" of the 1996 PBS weather documentary series Savage Skies.
  • The season two episode "Siberia" of the documentary series World's Most Dangerous Roads.
  • Oxford geographer Nick Middleton's television series and accompanying book Going to Extremes, in which he discusses his visit to this village and describes ways in which inhabitants cope with the extreme cold. Middleton describes how Oymyakon lies between two mountain ranges, trapping cold air between throughout the year.[23] In the winter, once every two days, the village's cattle's herd bull was harnessed between the shafts of a sledge with a big water tank on it and led to the spring. The men broke the ice on the spring, let the bull drink its fill, filled the water tank from the spring, and let the bull pull the tanker sledge back into the warm. The water spring was naturally warm and so stayed liquid below the surface ice.
  • Cameraman Geoff Mackley along with Rachael Wilson and Mark Whetu from New Zealand, made an episode for Discovery Channel series Dangerman. They were accompanied by translator Rob Walker (USA) and Vyacheslav Ipatiev (TourServiceCenter). Geoff rode the bull which pulled the water tank sledge to the spring, and spent a night outside in a tent.[24][25]
  • The episode "Hot and Cold" in the 2010 BBC series Extreme World features the village.[26]
  • The episode "Chilling Out" in the 1 April 2012 Episode of Australia's 60 Minutes.[8]
  • The travel series Departures Season 3 Episode 2 "Russia: The Bull of Winter" March 13, 2010. Travelers Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach, Director of Photography/Director Andre Dupuis, Translator Bogdan Almazov.[27]
  • "Coldest Road," an episode of the Discovery Channel three-part series Driven to Extremes starring Tom Hardy
  • The TV show Castle episode "Dead Red" talked about sending a Russian diplomat there to serve his time for a crime he committed.
  • In the television show Angry Planet with George Kourounis, episode “Melting Siberia”, the city and region are explored in relation to melting permafrost and climate change.
  • German meteorologist Sebastian Balders traveled to Oymyakon in December 2014 and shot a documentary about his trip and about the village. He published it on Youtube with very rare video footage material. According to Oymyakon's mayor Balders was the youngest tourist ever at the age of just 23.
  • The episode 18 "Secret War" of Love, Death & Robots takes place in Oymyakon region.
  • "Most dangerous ways to school - OIMJAKON (Russia)" is a documentary on how children survive their trek to school, juxtaposed with footage detailing how the people survive in general.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года [2010 All-Russia Population Census] (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service.
  2. ^ "Об исчислении времени". Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации (in Russian). June 3, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  3. ^ Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) ‹See Tfd›(in Russian)
  4. ^ "World's Coldest Village Drops To -80° & The Photos Are Spectacular". InspireMore.com. January 16, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  5. ^ Е. М. Поспелов. "Географические названия мира". Москва, 1998, p. 307.
  6. ^ Tsintsius, V. I. (1977), Сравнительный словарь тунгусо-маньчжурских языков : материалы к этимологическому словарю, 2, Leningrad: Nauka, p. 361
  7. ^ Lebedev, Igor Aviation Lend-Lease to Russia Nova Publishers (1997) pp. 44-49
  8. ^ a b "Chilling Out – Visiting the Coldest Town in the World". 60 Minutes. June 20, 2018 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ N.A. Stepanova. "On the Lowest Temperatures on Earth" (PDF). Docs.lib.noaa.gov. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  10. ^ Weather Underground - Christopher C. Burt - The Coldest Places on Earth https://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/the-coldest-places-on-earth
  11. ^ "World:Lowest Temperature". World Meteorological Organization. Archived from the original on June 16, 2010. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  12. ^ "Global Weather & Climate Extremes". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  13. ^ "International Glaciological Society (IGS)" (PDF). Igsoc.org. February 13, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  14. ^ "Погода и Климат - Климатический монитор: погода в Оймяконе". Pogodaiklimat.ru. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  15. ^ "Погода и Климат - Климатический монитор: погода в Верхоянске". Pogodaiklimat.ru. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  16. ^ "Погода и Климат - Климатический монитор: погода в Оймяконе". Pogodaiklimat.ru. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  17. ^ "Погода и Климат - Климатический монитор: погода в Оймяконе". Pogoda.ru.net. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  18. ^ "Погода и Климат - Климат Оймякона". Pogodaiklimat.ru. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  19. ^ "From Russia with love: Coldest place on the earth in Siberia". fromrussiawithlove.blogspot. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  20. ^ "Asia: Lowest Temperature". WMO. Archived from the original on June 16, 2010. Retrieved June 19, 2010.
  21. ^ "Погода в Оймяконе. Температура воздуха и осадки. Февраль 2014 г." Pogodaiklimat.ru. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  22. ^ "Ojmjakon Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  23. ^ Bijal P. Trivedi, Life Is a Chilling Challenge in Subzero Siberia, National Geographic Channel, May 12, 2004.
  24. ^ "Geoff Mackley - Siberia -Oymyakon expedition Jan 2004". Rambocam.com. January 29, 2004. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  25. ^ "Events 2005-2010 | Sakha Yakutia – Heart of Siberia". Yakutiatravel.com. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  26. ^ "Extreme world - How great are the world's divides?". BBC News. November 25, 2010.
  27. ^ "Episode Guide". Departureentertainment.coms. Retrieved July 21, 2014.

Videos[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Visite du village le plus froid du monde". YouTube (in French). Konbini News. February 5, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2018.

External links[edit]