Friday, 10 February 2012

Until the Vistula freezes over

I wrote several days ago about the prospect of the Vistula freezing over, saying that I'd read somewhere that it would take nine days at minus nine and below for this to happen. Although we had a week of -15C to -20C, more recently daytime highs hit -5C on Wednesday, -7C on Tuesday and yesterday, so that condition has not been met. However but I guess that even it it were -20C for a fortnight, it would still be impossible to walk across the Vistula.

Above: looking south from Most Poniatowskiego (most = bridge). Note the ice-free west bank. The water here has not frozen because of water from sewer outfalls and from hot water emerging from the Siekierki power station downstream.

Left: Let's zoom in on the chimneys of Siekierki - the power station is working flat out to provide the fair city light. If you click on the picture to enlarge, you will see little white dots in front of the Most Łazienkowski. These are gulls.

Has the Vistula has frozen solid across its entire breadth downstream of Siekierki - out by Kępy Zawadowskie? I feel an expedition coming on...

Looking north from the bridge towards the Most Średnicowy (tempporarily the Coca-Cola-Carlsberg bridge in advance of the football championships), the expanse of clear water dominates the width of the Vistula, largely as a result of a sewer outfall. Although at lunchtime today it was -9C, the waste water (treated, it must be said) was steaming into the river and flocks of gulls and ducks were enjoying the warmth.

Above: the National Stadium, resplendent in strong winter sunlight. The Vistula has not frozen over by the east bank either, but the ice is closer to the shore.

The next three days are poised to remain icy, with daytime highs of -9C expected.

Meanwhile, the koksowniki (braziers) have been removed from central points by the city authorities. A shame, they were a notable feature of the current cold spell, and cost peanuts to run.

This time last year:
Of sunshine, birdsong and wet socks

This time four years ago:
Dziadzio Tadeusz at 90


toyah said...

She has removed the braziers? Didn't make enough profit?

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Toyah

Our Gospodarka (housekeeper) must keep an eye on the finances to ensure the city doesn't slide into unmanageable debt.