By Marina Shumilo
Since ancient times, walking over hot stones or sand has been viewed as a remedy for certain ailments. This year, urban asphalt pavements and cobblestoned squares have taken on the role, heated by the burning sun. “If the trend continues, our thermometers could soon reach 36 Celsius,” asserts the chief meteorologist at the Republican Hydro-Meteorological Centre, Olga Fedotova. “Even at night, temperatures aren’t falling below 20 degrees. It’s the hottest weather since three decades ago but such heat is becoming more common in summer.”
At the beginning of summer, it seemed rainy. Warm, sunny days seemed like a dream never to be fulfilled. Then, as if to order, heat arrived from Europe. Amusingly, Belarusians are now looking forward to rain — but the hot weather has no plan to recede. “Rain and thunderstorms will ease the heat in Belarus temporarily but it will return,” Ms. Fedotova stresses.
A temperature record was recently set, with Belarus’ southern town of Lelchitsy registering 33 Celsius; meteorologists consider that it’s quite possible that the capital will be next in line. Naturally, life in Minsk goes on, even in hot weather. Traffic flows through the streets and people gather at bus stops: some hurrying to work and others to meet friends. Routines continue and long queues gather to buy cooling kvass — a traditional beverage. Children play outside while ducks bob forward in park ponds, crowding to collect bread crumbs…
Since our lake temperatures are rivalling those of southern resorts, people are flocking to relax there. Most Minskers are choosing Minsk Sea and Lake Komsomolskoe, where they can either sunbathe or play water sports.
Our refrigeration plants and non-alcoholic beverage making facilities are facing the greatest challenge, with demand skyrocketing during these hot days. Of course, they long ago prepared for the summer season, so there is no lack of ice-cream or cold drinks.