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    Sakha Republic (Yakutia)

Geography

Sakha Republic (Yakutia) is the largest of the other republics within the Russian Federation. The capital of the republic is Yakutsk. Sakha is situated in the northeastern Asia and covers more than 3 000 000 square kilometers, which equals 1/5 of the total territory of the Russian Federation or 2/3 of the territory occupied by Western Europe. From south to north Yakutia stretches up to 2 500 km, and from west to east it covers 3 time zones (2 000 km). 40% of the republic area lies within the Polar circle. From south to north the territory is crossed by numerous rivers: the Lena, Kolyma, Indigirka, Yana, Anabar, Olenek, and many others, which follow into the Arctic Ocean. This great amount of waterways explains why Yakutia is often called a land of rivers. When asked how many lakes there are in the region, local people usually answer: as many as there are stars in the sky.

Climate and weather conditions

Sakha is not only the largest of the republics but it is also the coldest one. To give an example, Oimyakon in Verkhoyansk region is the place where the cold pole of the northern hemisphere is situated. In this area the temperature can fall as low as -70C (-94F). Almost all territory of the republic lies in the permafrost zone, and the depth of the frozen earth can reach some 500 m or even more.

Yakutia has an extreme continental climate, which accounts for sudden changes in temperature and scanty precipitation. Among the most distinctive features of the local weather are frequent anticyclones, which usually lead to clear and fair skies. Winters in Yakutia are long (6 months) with a little amount of snowfalls but very cold (in the 5th of February, 1891 the lowest temperature in the region was registered: - 64,4 C). As for summers, they are shot, hot, and with a lot of sunshine. Summer days are long and usually cloudless. Maximum temperature levels rise up to 30-33C (the highest temperature was registered in the 15th of July, 1942: 38,3C).

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