The Russian heartland, already reeling from record heat aggravated by drought, will swelter under extreme heat for at least another seven to 10 days.
Most of western Russia will have average temperatures of 10 F to 20 F above normal through the end of July. Highest temperatures forecast through mid- to late week are 95 F to 100 F with 105 F in hot spots of southern Russia.
Most normal average daily temperatures in this area range from 60 F to 70 F with normal high temperatures mostly between 70 F and 80 F.
The Russian media have already labeled 2010's heat and drought as the worst in 130 years. Agricultural officials have said that grain output will be cut by 20 percent as tens of millions of acres of crops have been damaged or destroyed.
Drowning deaths have soared as people take to the water in droves.
The trigger for the abnormal heat and drought has been persistent high pressure anchored over European Russia together with southwest-to-northeast trending jetstream from the Atlantic coast to the European Arctic. At times, low pressure has dipped over southeastern Europe thereby further bolstering the heating.
Under this overall pattern of steering winds, desert heat has been tapped from North Africa, Arabia and central Asia and fed northward to the heart of Russia.
This weather setting will persist and even intensify during the next few days.
Heavy rain returning to the northern Plains will generate a renewed flood threat for the Red River.
The severe weather threat is winding down for the night after more than 20 reports of tornadoes through Sunday night.
Several tornadoes touched down from Oklahoma to Iowa, including near Wichita, Kan., and Oklahoma City, on Sunday.
Severe storms may erupt from Texas to Wisconsin on Monday as the storm system that spawned several tornadoes across the Plains on Saturday and Sunday shifts slowly to the east.
A slow-moving storm resulted in a week of below-normal temperatures that will likely continue into the week.
Smoke from fires in the Yucatan Peninsula will continue to affect parts of Texas and Louisiana for the first part of the week.
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