Russia Heat Wave Trashes Weather Record Books

August 4, 2010; 8:23 AM ET
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A young couple cool themselves in a fountain at the Exhibition Center in Moscow, on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. A thermometer in downtown Moscow Wednesday indicated 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit). A heat wave hit central Russia for three weeks breaking all records for the last 130 years. (AP Photo/IgorYakunin)

The sweltering heat that has gripped European Russia this summer has shifted, at least temporarily, the climate hundreds of miles southward from where it should be.

In Moscow, July brought the highest temperature in about 130 years of weather records when, on the 29th, the mercury soared above the 100-degree F mark for the first time. The actual maximum for the day was 38.2 C, or 101 F. The previous record, a fraction below 100 F, was set on two previous days in July, the 26th and the 28th.

More stunning, perhaps, is that the monthly average temperature, which is reportedly 26.1 C, or 79.1 F, made it the warmest (or hottest, if one will) month of all historical record in Moscow.

However, here is where the extremity of this Russian summer comes into true focus. The old record for highest temperature of any month was that of July 1938, when the average temperature was 23.3 C, or 73.9 F.

So that is a more than 5-degree F departure above any previous monthly mean temperature reached in over 130 years of weather history. Talk about shattering a record!

For perspective, the normal monthly temperature for June in Moscow is about 17 C, or 63 F, but the 79 F monthly average registered in July 2010 would be about par for a normal July in Washington, D.C.--at a latitude 1,170 miles nearer to the Equator!

Related to the Story:

The Russian Heat Wave: Why is it So Hot?

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