1. ITV Report

Moscow brings in fake snow after unusually warm winter sees temperatures reaching a 133-year high

Moscow is gearing up for New Year celebrations - that could be snowless this year. Credit: AP

Authorities in Moscow have had to resort to bringing in fake snow after an unusually warm December left the city bare.

The Russian capital usually sees temperatures of at least -7C - and it is not uncommon to see them plummet as low as -25C even during the day. But last week, temperatures hit over 6C - far too warm to snow.

The last time temperatures were higher than 5C in December was back in 1886.

Although snow was forecast for Sunday, artificial snow was shovelled in to help decorate the city centre in time for the New Year.

One Instagram user mariksa_10 posted a picture of a heap of snow with the caption: "This is all the snow there is in Moscow. It is being guarded on the Red Square."

The Hydrometeorological Centre of Russia said 2019 looked set to be the warmest in its meteorological record in the city with temperatures nearly 3C above average.

According to the Moscow Times, snowdrops and rhododendrons were among the flowers at the Moscow State University's Apothecary Garden tricked into thinking it was spring.

This unseasonal warmth follows Moscow's coldest summer on record this year, with temperatures falling to 12C in some parts.