This winter we saw one of the coldest Decembers ever, and then proceeded to record-breaking warmth. We even surpassed 0º at one point in January!
Today is Наурыз (Nauriz), the first day of spring, and it feels like it never really was winter (except for December). It never even got to -30º C in the past few months. (I know, because I promised a co-worker I'd drive her to school if it ever got below that temperature.)
Last year on this date, my mom and I were walking on a frozen lake in a winter wonderland in Borovoe. Currently, it's above freezing, and every day this past week has been above freezing.
Another anomaly of this winter--it has snowed far more than usual.
So what happens when it snows far more than usual and then gets to above or near 0º every day for a week?
Even when it's slightly below freezing, the sun starts to melt the snow. The last two weeks were so bad, I drove my co-worker to school every day. She's pregnant, and there's no way that she could safely walk the 10-minute walk to school in the mornings.
The ice was so horrible, I really thought we'd all be better off in ice-skates. It was everywhere--road, sidewalks, everywhere. The huge mounds of snow stayed, but they were less soft and powdery and instead crackling and icy.
The wind was fierce for a week, also, making everything incredibly dangerous. Everyone I know fell at least one time. I received two bruises on my knees for my fall. A co-worker received a broken arm.
My daughter and her friend thought the ice was a lot of fun, and they enjoyed slip-sliding on it. They, too, got bruises.
One day the weather was around freezing, well above the -20º C limit we place on outdoor recess, but we had indoor recess because the playground was so dangerous. We have a school building being built, but currently we are in a rental place, with five separate buildings. Just walking from one building to another (no more than a few meters apart) was dangerous.
This has definitely been the iciest spring I have seen in Astana.