You may be familiar at home with the battle of the thermostat? The game where one person wants the heating raising whilst the other complains that it’s like a sauna in the living room?

Spare a thought then for those who live in Siberia – officially the coldest place on earth.

In 1933, a record low was recorded. Not minus 20 or minus 30 but …

-67.7 degrees celsius


In the UK, many cars give a visual and audible warning when outside temperatures hit 4 degrees or lower as that is often an indicator of frost and icy conditions.

But -67.7?

The coldest inhabited city in the world is not quite as extreme – Yakutsk, just south of the Arctic Circle. What’s interesting to us, at Weatherwise Services Ltd, is that the city suffers from permafrost – soil temperatures average -5 degrees throughout the year, meaning buildings have to be erected on concrete piles so foundations don’t crack.

Winters are not only cold – but exceptionally long in Yakutsk. Temperatures plummet in October until May every single year. Can you imagine living in conditions like that?

And yet, the population of the city in the Sakha Republic of Russia continues to grow with over 300,000 people calling it home – more people live there than Derby to give some perspective.

The weird thing to us, at least, is that the city can record temperatures of over 30 degrees in July – with – 30 being possible from October onwards.

We wonder what life would be like in somewhere so extreme?

There is some novelty factor when we have Arctic conditions in the UK. Sledges sell out at petrol stations for those few weeks when we have the stuff, but can you imagine living in Yakutsk all year?

It would be interesting to set up a franchise there too, though our hardy team have had an exhausting winter covering the winter across the Midlands. Salt supplies dipped here, but how would we fare for 8 months of gruelling cold and darkness?

One positive thing about Yakutsk is rain is rare. Another is that there is a thriving punk scene, the Northern Lights and a museum of mammoths.

Would we live there?

No thanks, we’ll stick to Loughborough, our base and carry on with thermostat wars from October to April as a daily ritual.

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