Meet the Most Isolated Weatherman on the Face of the Earth

by Owen James Burke

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Vyacheslav Korotki measures water depth in the Barents Sea, alone as anyone can be. (Photo: Evgenia Arbugaeva/The New Yorker)

Vyacheslav Korotki is a Polyarnik, a north pole meteorologist who lives and works alone on a tiny peninsula in Russia’s far-flung Khodovarikha, an Arctic outpost, where he measures and collects wind, temperature and snowfall data by hand. The nearest town by any means is an hour helicopter ride away.

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Korotki at his desk. Sometimes when he needs a break from his work, he paddles out in his handmade rowing skiff for a cigarette, contemplation, and even further solitude. (Photo: Evgenia Arbugaeva/The New Yorker)

Korotki has no children, but he does have a wife far away in Arkhangelsk, a small and remote town but most standards, but one which he might consider to be bustling. His wife is only graced by his visits whenever he can muster up a different kind of resilience than that which he has for the harsh climes, one that allows for him to tolerate traffic and noise, which for someone like him, is infrequent at best.

It’s a harsh life, to say the least, but read more about Korotki on The New Yorker, and you might see why it’s the only life for him. — OJB

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