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Dzungarian gate in Kazakhstan.

Tours to Alakol reserve.

«A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature»

Henry David Thoreau.

Walk on Alakol reserve.

The Dzungar Gate has long been known as one of the windiest places in Central Asia. The prevailing wind direction is northwest, southeast and northeast. The most characteristic are local winds, alternately blowing year-round in two opposite directions through the Dzungarian gate - a narrow mountain passage between the Barlyk and Dzhungarsky Alatau ranges.
Their occurrence is associated with a large difference in atmospheric pressure on both sides of the Dzungarian gate. The south-east direction is dominated by the “eugay,” which originates in the desert lowlands of Ebi Nur on the borderland of China and, when passing through the Dzungar Gate, reaches destructive power (60 - 80 m / s).
“This wind,” V.A. characterizes it. Obruchev (1951, p. 455) is relatively warm, and although it blows along the valley without capturing the adjacent mountains, the snow melts quickly at the same time in the latter. The strength of the wind is such that it carries small stones and it is almost impossible to ride towards it.”
In some years, hurricanes that appear tear down roofs from houses, root trees, roll large oil tanks in different directions, turn trucks and tractors on highways, destroy power lines and cause fires in settlements. On the railway at the Dzungar Gate, several cases of overturning freight wagons of international trains are reported.
Wind speeds of the order of 30 - 40 m / s are observed here annually, and on January 28, 1958, a record speed of 70.5 m / s was recorded (Kurdin, 1965). On Lake Alakol, “evgey” causes severe storms with wave heights of up to 4 – 5 meters, especially fatal for nesting colonial birds, as it causes the washing of all low-lying islands and sand spits.
Sometimes it overturns fishing boats. These winds are especially dangerous and destructive in the winter, as they lead to the death of people on the roads. In this regard, the Dzungarian gate is called the valley of death. The average frequency of evgey is 340 times a year.
The formation of “evgey” is associated with the formation of dust storms in the Alakol basin, first described in the middle of the 19th century by travelers M.V. Pevtsov and N.M. Przhevalsky. They arise in the neighboring deserts of Kashgar and thanks to the powerful transport of air masses through the Dzhungar gates fill the Alakol depression and adjacent plains hundreds of kilometers up to Balkhash and Ayaguz (according to some information, even to the city of Karaganda) with dusty fog.
From the Balkhash side, the northwest wind regularly blows (296 times a year, at an average speed of 4.8 m / s), called “Saikan” or “Kubyla” (translated from Kazakh as “variable”). If the southeastern wind is dry, warm, causing thaws and rapid snow melting, then the northwest is wetter, often leads to changes in weather and rain, in winter - with frost, it is difficult to tolerate.
Both winds, alternately replacing each other, blow on Alakol all year round, creating the effect of a "wind tunnel". The average annual wind speed on the plain is in the range of 2 - 4 m / s, while at the Dzungar Gate it increases to 6.5 m / s.).
The highest average monthly velocity is observed in January (11.6 m / s), the lowest in June (3 m / s). During the year, up to 84 days are observed with gale-force winds, the speed of which exceeds 15 m / s. The average duration of storm winds in most cases (71%) does not exceed one day, but in some cases it reaches 2 – 3 and even 6 – 7 days (Eserkepova, 1963; Kurdin, 1965).
In the spring-summer period, northerly winds prevail, in the autumn-winter period, southerly and southeasterly winds prevail. In addition to the two winds described, sometimes another one suddenly appears - the Miner, blowing from the gorges of the Dzungarian Alatau and causing storms on Alakol.
From the southern slopes of Tarbagatai, usually in the morning, sometimes during the day, a northeast wind, locally called “Tarbagatai”, blows.

Berezovikov Nikolay Nikolaevich, Cand.Biol.Sci.

 Alexander Petrov.