A massive heat wave has hit the Russian capital, making July 2011 the second-hottest month in years.
Daytime temperatures have risen to 32-34C in Moscow and 30-35C in the Moscow Region, exceeding the norm by five degrees. The southeast wind’s speed is four to nine meters per second.
Weather forecasters promise that the heat wave will last only till the weekend – rain and thunderstorms will make the temperatures milder.
Still, doctors are warning that people suffering from heart and vascular diseases, diabetes or endocrine disorders may experience pressure surges and intense headaches.
The capital, meanwhile, is fighting the anomalous heat the best way it can. All the traffic police posts are equipped with cold water to be distributed among drivers as a preventative measure against heat stroke.
July 2010 scored as the hottest ever month in Russia, with the weather standards exceeded by 7.8 degrees. July 2001, its closest adversary in terms of heat, saw the norm altered by 4.7 degrees only.
As the mercury heads for 40 degrees Celsius in Moscow, memories of last summer’s smoke-covered city loom large.
The record-breaking heat of summer 2010 resulted in devastating forest fires that killed 62 people, destroyed 199 towns and reduced 3,200 houses to ashes.