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Smog / Air Pollution in Moscow?

New York City, New...
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Smog / Air Pollution in Moscow?

Hello everyone,

I'm planning on being in Moscow from August 14-17. I understand that due to the heat and fires near the city, the air in Moscow is currently very polluted. Could anyone who is there or who was just there please let me know - how bad is the smog? Is it worth flying directly to St Petersburg (where we plan to go after Moscow) and avoiding Moscow altogether?

Also, is there any indication of when the smog will lift?

Many thanks.

napa
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81. Re: Smog / Air Pollution in Moscow?

Later September is still quite a ways off - lots can change in a few weeks. It should be cooler, and if they get a handle on the fires it should be fine. The locals can keep you current, and I can let you know - we will be in St. Petersburg/Moscow Sept 1-14. Do you live in Napa, too? That's a coincidence!

Moscow
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82. Re: Smog / Air Pollution in Moscow?

Even though the smoke is reported to be back in some areas of Moscow today, there is no haze or smell where I live. But the air, while appearing as usual, is still not evidently normal – I felt kind of funny yesterday.

But the firemen, it is now reported, have been able to put the wildfires out in several districts around Moscow and are hoping to bring the remanining ones fully under control within ten days, weather helping (with fainfall).

The forecasts are generally encouraging, and there is consensus that the worst is over.

One indication of now things are actually standing is whether or not the Moscow football derby between Lokomotiv and Spartak on Sunday will be played as scheduled. Last weekend, the Spartak-Zenit game was called off.

Napa, California
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83. Re: Smog / Air Pollution in Moscow?

Thank you to dianeginnapa and kepi for your responses. Yes I live in Napa, too. Our trips will not overlap but it would be interesting to hear your impressions when you get back which will be before we leave. Thank you kepi for your updates. They are so helpful as you are there and can give us the best information. If you can keep them coming , that would be great.

Moscow
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84. Re: Smog / Air Pollution in Moscow?

Hi, I have been away sunbathing and swimming in the countryside (and have, in fact, escaped from Moscow on all of the weekends over the past month), and so will only get the gist of what is expected (in terms of the weather) tomorrow.

The situation today, I know, has been most inconsistent, but nothing drastic has been in evidence and the most important thing is that none of the football games on Sunday in the capital has been postponed.

The Lokomotiv-Spartak game has just started, even if there is some hesitant smoky haze descending on the pitch, and the floodlights look a little blurred.

The commentator also says that the air is heavy, though it is not too hot - it is after all half past nine in the evening in Moscow.

The game is almost, but not a sell-out (though it usually is).

But close on 30 thousand have turned up..

Lisbon, Portugal
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85. Re: Smog / Air Pollution in Moscow?

I left Moscow today and i can confirm that there was visible smog with limited visibility. You could easily manage to be outside but there was an almost constant smell and after a while my throat was itching and i felt it in my eyes too. If you can reschedule and wait for better weather i'd advise you to do that.

This also applies to some other cities like Vladimir, Suzdal, etc..

Moscow
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86. Re: Smog / Air Pollution in Moscow?

The shared opinion of weathermen today is that the heatwave is set to quickly recede this week, with air temperatures dropping from the predicted 31 degrees Celcius on Monday to 23 degrees on Friday.

However, one weather forecasting company warns that it may be even colder on Friday – just 12 degrees Celsius during the day and as low as 6 at night.

There is a possibility of rain showers with storms and even hail near the weekend.

The smog from the wildfires, which has remained in some areas, is expected to be blown away by the winds within the next few hours.

The number of fires outside Moscow has shrunk, but there are forests ablaze in more outlying areas like Ryazan and Vladimir, though the firemen report steady progress in containing those as well.

Video footage from the capital at 6 o'clock this morning, as shown on national TV -

http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=386014

Four hours later, weather monitors are already reporting no abnormal contents of odorless carbon monoxide (a product of burning – the one that used to make people giddy, including myself one day last week) or suspended dust particles in the air (they were 30%-40% above norm yesterday).

I was outside today and there was no smell (I live in the north-west not far from the center).

News reports say, however, that the concentration of hydrocarbons in the air (which generally give it the acrid smell of burning) is still 30%-40% higher than normal in some places (though down from 300%-400% on Sunday), but the situation will normalize towards the evening.

The media say the smog is not expected back, at least not on a scale anywhere near that witnessed a week ago, when change-of-guard ceremonies outside the Kremlin, river boat cruises, and TV tower excursions were cancelled and municipal agencies and a number of companies opened their air-conditioned premises to anyone from the street to chill out.

Moscow
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87. Re: Smog / Air Pollution in Moscow?

A storm has hit St. Petersburg and adjacent areas, leaving 100,000 people without electricity (with a number of trains, including the high-speed Sapsan on the route to Moscow, delayed), and is advancing on the national capital.

Moscow (pollution levels here comfortably back to normal and no smog in sight or up the nose, but with high air temperatures still lingering) has been put on storm alert.

Fresh Zvezda TV footage from St. Petersburg (including the clear Moscow skyline this afternoon at the very end) -

tvzvezda.ru/news/russia/content/na_severo-za…

Travelers to Moscow, by the way, can themselves form a judgment about the weather here by watching Russian TV news reports on-line (the weather situation has been invariably top of the news over the past few weeks), even if they do not know the language – just from the pictures.

One option is the website of Channel One - http://www.1tv.ru/

So that there should not be only doom and gloom) here, enjoy the latest trend in Moscow – 3D graffiti on the pavements ;) -

tvzvezda.ru/news/…kartiny_v_3d_na_1508.html

USA
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88. Re: Smog / Air Pollution in Moscow?

Cпасибо Kepi

Wish my father was still alive because he spoke and read fluent russian.

He would have really enjoyed all the web sites you posted. I still have a small command of basic russian but mainly spoken. If you don't use it you lose it.

I'm mainly concerned about the soot and acrid smell. In all my past sojourns through the Baltics and Russia, my ankles were always black at the end of the day.

Question. Are all automobiles required now to have catalytic converters?

napa
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89. Re: Smog / Air Pollution in Moscow?

Reply to Anne2626, Yes, I'll be happy to give you a 1st hand report upon our return from Moscow Sept. 14. My husband and I are taking a Viking River Cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow. We're encouraged that they're getting a handle on the fires, and we're ready to go!

Moscow, Russia
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90. Re: Smog / Air Pollution in Moscow?

This morning the smog is back (at least in the north of Moscow), probably not at its worst, but still quite strong, with reduced visibility and acrid smell. Hope it'not for long this time.

PS Seems like the topic starter was lucky to catch a smoke-free spell in Moscow. Would be interesting to read their trip report.

Edited: 18 August 2010, 03:59