Verkhoyansk

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Verkhoyansk (Russian: Верхоя́нск; Sakha: Үөһээ Дьааҥы (Üöhəə Çaaŋı) is a town in the Sakha Republic, Russia, situated on the Yana River, near the Arctic Circle, 675 km from Yakutsk. There is a river port, an airport, a fur-collecting depot, and the center of a reindeer-raising area. Population: 1,434 (2002 Census).[1] It preserves the status of town for historical reasons only; at the 2002 census it was the third-smallest town in Russia, larger than only Magas and Chekalin.

History

Cossacks founded an ostrog in 1638, 90 km south-west of the modern town. In 1775 it was moved to the left bank of the Yana River, to facilitate tax collection. It received the status of town in 1817. Between the 1860s and 1917 the town was a place of political exile, with some of the more prominent exiles including the Polish writer Wacław Sieroszewski, as well as Bolshevik revolutionaries Ivan Babushkin and Viktor Nogin.

Climate

Verkhoyansk is notable chiefly for its exceptionally low winter temperatures and some of the greatest temperature differences between summer and winter on Earth. Average monthly temperatures range from −45.8 °C (−50.4 °F) in January to 16.9 °C (62.4 °F) in July. Mean monthly temperatures are below freezing from October through April and exceed 10 °C from June through August, with the intervening months of May and September constituting very short transitional seasons. Verkhoyansk has an extreme subarctic climate (Köppen Dfd) dominated much of the year by high pressure. This has the effect of cutting off the region from warming influences in winter and together with little cloud cover leads to extensive heat losses during the cooler months. The warmest month on record is July 2010 at 20.8 °C.[2] Together with Oymyakon, Verkhoyansk is one of the places considered the northern Pole of Cold. The lowest temperature recorded there, in 1892, was −69.8 °C (−94 °F), and the highest was 37.3 °C (99 °F), giving a temperature span of 107 °C (193 °F). In this area, temperature inversions often form in winter, with the temperature warmer with higher altitude, rather than vice-versa.

Verkhoyansk has a dry climate with little rainfall or snowfall; the average annual precipitation is 173 millimetres (6.81 in). Although no month can be described as truly wet, there are strong seasonal differences in precipitation, with the summer being much wetter than the winter. Winter precipitation is extremely light largely on account of the dominance of high pressure at this time of year. Snow is actually most likely in October and May when the weather is less dry than in the winter months proper.

References

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