From Moscow with Love

Leanne Striegel

Nature has no bad weather or so that is what a famous Russian song says.  Everyone knows it and quotes it when you complain about the weather.  One of my friends says you just have to dress better.  Since Iowa and much of the mid-west is having much colder temperatures than we are having in Moscow. 

            I thought I would take a moment to destroy that myth that it is like the movie Dr. Zhivago here.  If you have seen that movie, Russia (Moscow included) looks like the North Pole.  Interestingly enough, this movie was filmed in Spain and it is a British-Italian movie because it was banned in the Soviet Union.  It is based on the book by Boris Pasternak, which was hugely popular in the West.  It wasn’t until the fall of the Soviet Union that Russians were able to read it.  Many do not, however, because it was a difficult period of history much like our Civil War.  Moscow’s winter, I’m sure, used to look like it was depicted in the movie – cold and windy, but the climate here has changed over the years much like the climate has changed in Iowa since I was a child.    

            “What’s the weather like?” is one question I always get when I’m home or when I’m skyping with friends or family in Iowa.  And so far, it is great here compared to what you are having.  This is not always the case.  Since I left Iowa in 2013, you have had mild winters.  Before that, there were awful winter storms and ice storms.  I remember driving to and from work from Osceola to Des Moines in them for 5 years.  It was easy to relocate given that kind of weather.  Those tough Iowa winters made it easy to acclimate to Moscow winters. 

            Most people, including me, use public transportation to get around, so weather is important here, but nothing shuts down on account of the storms, or at least so far.  It is not as humid here as it is in Iowa, so a windy day in the winter is not like a windy day in winter in Iowa.  It might be a bit colder in Moscow on the average, like say Minnesota, but Moscow doesn’t typically have the sharp changes in temperature like in Iowa.  There are days like today (March 3) when because of the wind, sunshine, and a morning snowstorm, you just don’t know how to dress.  As the Russians (and Iowans) say: “if you want to know the weather, go outside.”


For the rest of Leanne's perspective on Russian weather, check out the March 13th issue of the Keota Eagle.