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I always wondered why in some years the taiga (Siberian wild forest) is full of harvest, and in other years, in spite of nice weather and a good start, in Autumn the forest is empty. I confess my ignorance here, but old and experienced people also frequently made severe errors in their predictions.

Though I did understand that their replies to my questions could follow some secret rules, because there is always a chance to spoil everything by idle talking.

My grandfather, who spent most of his life at Baikal, when answering my silly and childish question "do you know tomorrow's weather?" always replied "will be good,.. if not bad, of course". It was clearly dangerous to give a definite reply, because it could spoil the tomorrow's fishing.

The weather at Baikal can go bad in a quite serious way. The wind is always blowing here, except rare moments of sunsets and direction changings. Almost all winds have their own names: barguzin, kultuk, sarma, shelonnik, gornaya... It seems that the most powerful wind is kultuk. If it is about to blow (and bring the bad weather) all the other winds become silent.

Several times I found myself in a real tornado, and always it was kultuk. On Baikal there are other terrible winds, for instance, sarma. But sarma is local. Kultuk is ruling over all the surface of the lake. On the picture: the frontier of kultuk. I made it some seconds before the fierce blow of the wind. The static picture can not reproduce rash jerking of the madly rolling cloudy spindle.

 
 
 
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