Where do you work

"I work in the building of the Weather Center with a red ball on the roof"

In the section "Where do you work" we continue to talk about the iconic non-residential buildings of Yekaterinburg. In the new issue - the building of the Meteocenter with a red ball on the roof: in the 1980s it appeared on the Bald Hill on the outskirts of Sverdlovsk, and now decorates the center of Yekaterinburg. Life around talked with the employees of the Meteocenter and tells how the Ural weather forecasters work, where to find the most accurate weather forecast and why the observation deck near the building can soon be closed from the residents of Yekaterinburg.

Text

WITHAsha Novikova

Photo

Sergey Poteryaev

Ural Hydrometeorological Center

Address: st. People's Will, 64

Year of construction: 1990

Style: Soviet modernism

Number of floors: 9

Appointment: Ural UGMS



Polina Ivanova

from the "Guide to Yekaterinburg and Sverdlovsk"

- The observatory hill is usually called the Meteor hill. It is located between the streets of Bazhov, Decembrists and East and rises to 280.4 meters. This is the highest point of the city, so the building of the hydrometeorological observatory located on top was previously visible from many areas.

The creation of the weather station is due to Adolf Yakovlevich Kupfer - Professor Kupfer studied the meteorology and magnetic field of the Earth. On his initiative, a network of weather stations was created in the Russian Empire that carried out simultaneous measurements of the magnetic field and its oscillations. The weather station in Yekaterinburg was one of the first in this network.

The first building of the Yekaterinburg Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory was wooden. For its construction, exclusively copper hardware (nails, staples, window hinges) was used, since even small metal objects could affect the measurements. The weather station was managed by the Academy of Sciences. The study of the environment was complex: air temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind direction and strength, air humidity, rainfall, soil temperature, dew point, sunshine, seismic vibrations and much more were recorded.

Until now, all the information about Yekaterinburg, useful to both citizens and enterprises, comes from here. In addition, Meteogorka offers a beautiful view of the city, so on summer evenings it is always crowded.


1836 year - On the outskirts of Yekaterinburg, on the Bald Hill, an observatory and a meteorological station were founded. Since that time, regular monitoring of the state of the atmosphere has been carried out continuously in Yekaterinburg.

1913 year - the observatory has an underground pavilion for seismological observations.

1925 year - The Sverdlovsk Weather Bureau was established.

1929 year - seismic observations ceased - a tram rattled through the city streets.

1930s - the area around the weather station was given to the Botanical Garden (later the garden received a new territory, and a small park remained on the slopes of Meteogorka).

1975 year - The construction of the new building of the Ural Administration for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Control has begun.

1990 year - construction completed. At the top of Meteogorka, a new nine-story building has grown, and an observation deck is organized at its foot.

Galina Sheporenko

chief weather forecaster of the UGMS


Study

In 1966, I entered the Perm State University as a meteorologist. We had a double graduation: eleventh-graders and tenth-graders at the same time graduated from school, so it was difficult to act. I knew for sure that I would be taking maths and that humanitarian subjects were not mine. When I chose a future specialty, I accidentally stumbled upon meteorology - it turned out to be connected with mathematics, physics and geography and seemed interesting and romantic to me.

I liked that the university had a lot of practice: meteorological, aerological, synoptic. For three months I even had an internship at Koltsovo Airport. Immediately after the university, I got to the Sverdlovsk Meteocenter, where I have been working since 1971. Then life turned out to be somehow myself: at first I worked as a weather forecaster, since 1989 - as the head of the department, and in 2005 I became the chief weather forecaster of the Sverdlovsk region.

Weather forecast

The weather forecasting technology is based on the principle of visualizing information in the form of a map. Now synoptic maps are automatically generated by the weather forecaster's working computer - the current weather is displayed using signs that the specialist should read. Numerical modeling greatly helps, on the basis of which specific elements of the weather are calculated: temperature, precipitation, wind speed, cloud cover.

We collect information from all over the Urals: only in the Sverdlovsk region we have 37 weather stations, and there are about a hundred of them in the whole district. All data is sent to Moscow - an international meteorological center that participates in a global exchange with the World Weather Watch. There, in Moscow, the main computing center collects and processes weather information from around the globe.

At the end of 2018, they installed an American computer with huge memory and maximum speed. It is considered the second most powerful in the whole country - after the computer of Lomonosov Moscow State University - and works 30 times faster than before. If the old computer made a weather forecast for five days during the day, then now the whole process takes only a couple of hours. This frees up machine time, which means that the Hydrometeorological Center can experiment more and study new technologies.

If before the weather forecast was completely compiled by man, now most of the work is done by machines. Automatic calculations appeared at the turn of the 70-80s, but at first they were imperfect. On the one hand, it was nice when the manual forecasts were justified, and on the other, one had to always face the problem of choice. It was much easier to make a mistake, but harder to work. Physically and emotionally it was very exhausting.

The main task of the weather forecaster today is to analyze, because there is a lot of information, and it is not always consistent with each other. The computer delivers information in the form of numerical calculations and card slides, and the weather forecaster analyzes the actual atmospheric condition. He must understand what is the state of the atmosphere at the moment, and also take into account what happened the day before — the history of the process is important for forecasting.


We recommend monitoring the weather on our website, because we have high predictability: about 96% in Yekaterinburg. It's a mystery to me where aggregators like Gismeteo and Yandex.Weather get weather forecasts from.


It is possible to predict exactly the weather only for five days - the sixth and seventh days will be less clear for the weather forecaster, and the second week will be completely muddy. Forecasts for a month cannot be trusted - they are compiled on the basis of averaged data from past years. We recommend monitoring the weather on our website, because we have high predictability: about 96% in Yekaterinburg. It's a mystery to me where aggregators like Gismeteo and Yandex.Weather get weather forecasts from. Some of them - for example, Phobos - have access and a license to interpret forecasts of the Hydrometeorological Center.

An important task of weather forecaster is to monitor dangerous weather phenomena and their forecast. There is a certain list of hazardous phenomena: wind speed of 25 m / s and above, frost from −40 ° C, abnormal heat from + 30 ° C, ice, drought and much more. We transmit such information to the Ministry of Emergencies, which, with the help of SMS, warns about the phenomena of citizens.

All the time that I deal with the weather, I observe a tendency to global warming. Summer records have not changed much, but winter temperatures have become much more favorable. I remember that earlier in the winter the air cooled to −55 ° C, but over the past 30 years this has definitely not happened. All climatologists who study the global climate note: the northern regions, especially the Arctic coast, are getting warmer.

New building

Continuous meteorological observations have been conducted on the Observatory Hill since January 1836, since the organization of the Yekaterinburg Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory (EMMO). The place was not chosen by chance: the hill, which at that time was called Pleshiva, was removed from the city center and consisted of rocks, which was favorable for all kinds of observations: magnetic, meteorological, and later seismic.

The old building of the Meteocenter was built in 1835 from wood - without a single iron nail. Only copper products were used, including copper ones were furnace views, dampers, door handles. In the sixties, the question arose of building a new building that meets the modern needs of the Hydrometeorological Service. They decided to build it here, however, subsequently it was repeatedly expressed the opinion that it would be more reasonable to place it down below the mountain, and leave the weather station with a designated observation site in place.

Construction began in the mid-1970s and went slowly due to lack of funding. By the beginning of the 80s, it completely stopped. The building was already erected, but it was only a brick skeleton, which for a long time stood without windows. All this time we worked in a one-story wooden building in the neighborhood. The slide itself was not very large, so we had to figure out where to store the firewood with which we heated the room. I remember regular subbotniks during which we passed firewood along the chain and transferred them to another place in order to free the territory.

Construction resumed only in the middle of the decade. When the construction was managed to stir up, we also began to actively participate in it: dragged bricks, cleaned the roof from snow. By the time the work was completed in 1990, it was already clear that the building project, which was being developed 20 years ago, was out of date. The huge areas provided for the computer room were no longer needed - everyone around was switching over to personal computers. These premises had to be divided into more appropriate sites, some of which were leased to outside organizations during the difficult 90s. One of these rooms now houses the Museum of the History of the Hydrometeorological Service of the Urals.

Moving to a new building took place gradually. It was difficult to equip the storage facilities of the hydrometeorological fund of the Ural UGMS. Some departments could move immediately, but weather forecasters with their huge machines were more difficult. The operations department works around the clock and monitors the weather and dangerous meteorological phenomena continuously. In order not to stop the transmission of information even for a minute, it was necessary to synchronously equip the Communication Center. Therefore, weather forecasters and signalmen, supplying them with information, began work in a new place only in August 1991. Everything was done clearly, without loss of operational information.


The red ball on the roof of the building is part of the meteorological locator, but at our Meteocenter it's just a non-functional symbol


We were happy to move. If earlier all nested in small rooms, then in the new building the areas of most of the units of the Ural UGMS were significantly expanded - all of them, previously scattered in different buildings and even city districts, were finally gathered under one roof. The working conditions of the Measuring Instruments Service, which was involved in the verification of instruments and equipment, standardization of observations, the introduction of new technologies and regulatory documentation, have significantly improved.

Brick room, where the hydrometeorological data fund used to be (building at Bazhov, 195a, - approx.ed.), in the 90s had to be released to lease - otherwise the Hydrometeorological Service simply could not survive. An old wooden building burned down in an accidental fire in 1994. Since the 80s, the building of the Hydrometeorological Center has not practically changed - except that in 2016 we made redecoration with the funds allocated to us for the 180th anniversary of Roshydromet.

Meteorite

I can not call the building of the Meteocenter cozy. It has a very complicated corridor system, so the first months people wander here - especially in the basements and on the basement. I like the sunny side of the building. My office is also on the sunny side - it offers a view of the city beloved by everyone. When people come to us for excursions, we allow some groups to go out on the roof and take some photos. Our observers go out there, who monitor the cloud cover, visibility and various weather events.

I clearly saw how in February 2013 a meteorite flew to the Chelyabinsk region. I had a window open - suddenly I noticed how the sky began to turn from dark into very bright. After the flash, a white streak remained in the sky - it was visible how it entered through the rare clouds. At first there was silence, but after about ten minutes something rattled in the distance. I began to look out the window again and at first I didn’t understand anything - I thought maybe the plane exploded somewhere. But that white swirling strip was too wide - as it became clear later, that arose due to evaporation during the friction of the meteorite against the air.

Problems

When I just started working here, the area around Meteogorka was already developed: transport went along Dekabristov Street, Narodnaya Volya Street was quiet. There were private houses everywhere, and from the side of Narodnaya Volya an apple alley led to the building. All old-timers recall how beautiful and cozy this alley was. Now every summer people come to the Meteocenter building by cars: they turn on music to the fullest and smoke hookahs, but there is nothing good for us in this.

The 90s we were greatly crippled: we lost part of the territory. First, the developer was allowed to build a building at the entrance to the hill (we are talking about the administrative building on Bazhov, 193, where the hotel, night club, cafe and other organizations are located today - approx. ed.). Then the burnt two-story building was handed over to a third-party organization. For thirty years it has been in this form, but now they are planning to build a six-story residential building there, although according to the rules it can’t be done near the weather site - its security zone is 200 meters; in addition, there is a park zone nearby. Perhaps now we are waiting for the legal struggle.

Anna Misharina

Head of Weather Forecast Department


Weather forecast

I have been working at the Meteocenter for the eleventh year - I came here right after the geographical faculty of Perm State University. The first time I ended up in the Meteocenter building after my fourth year, when I arrived in Yekaterinburg to practice. It seemed to me then that there are a lot of confused corridors, but my colleagues always helped me find and go where I needed to. The red ball on the roof of the building is part of the meteorological locator, but at our Weather Center it’s just a non-functional symbol.

The work of a weather forecaster does not imply a routine - every day we come across something new. The head of the weather forecasting department is a kind of administrator: I am involved in the preparation of reports and forecasts up to two weeks in advance. In my department, a daily forecast is compiled for the belt of the territory of the Sverdlovsk region and the city of Yekaterinburg. On the second and third days the forecast extends to the entire Ural Federal District. We also advise stakeholders on the weather for the next two weeks.


I try not to talk about the weather with loved ones: everyone usually thinks they know everything about the weather better than me, so they try to convince


Our partners are Vesti-Ural on the Rossiya and Rossiya 24 TV channels and the Regional Television: only two channels in the weather forecasts broadcast our data. Our general forecasts for the first, second, third day are published on our website.Further data is specialized information that is distributed to interested parties on a contractual basis. Such persons may include the Ministry of Emergency Situations, construction organizations (they are interested in phenomena unfavorable for working at altitude, such as wind of 12 m / s), road organizations (for them we predict wind and precipitation).

I try not to talk about the weather with loved ones: everyone usually thinks that they know everything about the weather better than me, so they try to convince. At one time, my mother liked to tell me what the weather was waiting for us, because she watched TV in the mornings. I had to answer: "So I told you about this three days ago." Taxi drivers also always think that they know best about the upcoming weather. Recently, I have been conducting educational work with taxi drivers: I tell you that they make observations and make forecasts in the building of the Meteocenter. Often they answer me: "So it is still on the phone, on the Internet." People do not think about how this data gets into the public domain.

Tatyana Osintseva

Deputy Head of the Ural UGMS


Weather center

I am an environmentalist by education - I graduated from the university in 1998. It was a terrible time: it was almost impossible to get a young girl after university, because everywhere she was seen as a potential maternity ward. I met at the Meteocenter and first worked as a chemist in the radiometric observation laboratory.

The foundation day of our weather station in Yekaterinburg is January 1, 1836. On April 26, the Hydrometeorological Service in Russia will celebrate 185 years. Many people think that the Hydrometeorological Service deals only with the weather. Yes, the weather is indeed our calling card, but in fact we work in three large areas. Meteorology, or weather, as we are used to, includes weather forecasts, agricultural forecasts and hydro forecasts. Two other areas are environmental pollution monitoring and instrument testing.

Ecology

Of great importance now is monitoring environmental pollution - ecology is by ear and in trend. Every minute we monitor the pollution of air, soil, water surfaces, as well as the level of radiation, and collect a fund of data on the ecology of the region. In Yekaterinburg, eight of our posts are scattered, which monitor air pollution. They look inconspicuous - like booths fenced with small fences. For some reason, often people are sure that no one is monitoring the level of radiation in the city - this is not true. In 1986, during the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the Ural Hydrometeorological Service was the first to detect a sharp increase in the level of radiation and transmit a signal to Moscow.

The greatest damage to the environment is not caused by emissions from enterprises, but by the people themselves: the Earth suffers from household waste. The longer I work, the more I become convinced that I need to renew environmental education. Parents give some kind of culture: for example, children learn that you can’t swear. But they don’t often forget to say that they shouldn’t spit or throw candy wrappers on the ground. The child retains bad habits, and then he grows up, becomes the director of a large enterprise and continues to do the same, but in different volumes. I always remember a case from my school. The teacher told us how she came to Germany, threw a candy wrapper on the ground, and she was spotted by cameras. Even then, I sat and wondered: "Teacher, was it normal for you to throw a candy wrapper in the window?"


The greatest environmental damage is caused not by the emissions of enterprises, but by the people themselves: the Earth suffers from household waste


A place

In the Meteocenter building, I feel comfortable on the ground floor, where the laboratories are located. In all rooms indoor plants create comfort. My favorite place near the Meteocenter is the park of the 50th anniversary of Soviet power, a paradise in the city center. In warm weather, our staff often walk there for lunch. From time to time we arrange subbotniks there - on our own we clean up for hookah workers, throw out syringes.

Recently, the anti-terrorist commission of the region ordered us to fence the building of the Meteocenter, but Meteogorka is a place beloved by many residents of Yekaterinburg. As a representative of the organization, I could order to completely surround our land with a fence, but as a city dweller I would not want to do this, so now we are negotiating with the head of the city, Alexander Vysokinsky.

Maria Dmitrieva

Metrology Engineer


Verification

I came to the Hydrometeorological Service as a young girl, in 1973 - right after I graduated from the Moscow Hydrometechnical School and arrived in Sverdlovsk from Moscow. My department is engaged in the verification of measuring instruments, and I work directly with the verification of instruments that measure atmospheric pressure - these are barometers and other electronic devices. If a cyclone is observed, it means that the pressure decreases, if the anticyclone rises, and depending on this, weather forecasters make up a synoptic map.

In the Urals, calibration and repair of measuring instruments for specialized hydrometeorological purposes began on October 1, 1930. The main task of the sector then was to organize verification, repair of instruments and tools, and the manufacture of instruments for the observation network. If we find errors and deviations of indicators from the norm, then we return the devices to the repair group, and after repair we check them again.

Every day I come to work at eight in the morning and first of all I turn on the model barometer, because it takes an hour to warm up. During this time, I prepare the remaining barometers, set up the pressure chamber and begin verification. We are engaged in checking not only our instruments, but also equipment for other organizations.

A place

When I was just starting to work here, the Hydrometeorological Center was still in an old wooden building. Our six-person department was located in one room, where at the same time using different equipment we checked instruments designed to measure barometry, the direction of the wind, its speed, and air humidity. When a new building was being built, employees of the Hydrometeorological Center also helped builders and carried bricks.

The building was built on a hill, and it was visible from all sides. If you need to orient one of our guests, we always said that you need to focus on the blue building on the hill. When we stopped, the building was not yet ready to the end - somewhere even had to walk on wooden planks instead of the normal floor. But there was such enthusiasm that we did not notice anything bad - on the contrary, everyone was very happy about the new building.

Now each specialist in our department has his own separate room - it is much more convenient than before, when at work everyone literally breathed into each other's backs. It's great that the rooms in our building are bright and spacious. Most of all in the building, I like my office, which I can already call my own home.

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