99.8 degrees F ... in Moscow!
The Moscow Times is reporting a new all-time record high temperature today in downtown Moscow of 37.7 degrees Celsius. That's an astonishing 99 degrees Fahrenheit. It was 101 degrees F at the airport. One-hundred-thirty-year-old records are toppling across Russia amid a three-week heat wave. And Muscovites, unaccustomed to Chesapeake-like summer temperatures, are suffering. The Times reports:
"The adverse effects of the severe heat, which has been menacing Muscovites since late June, are aggravated by heavy smog that has blanketed the city and is caused mostly by burning peat in forests surrounding Moscow.
"Russia's chief lung doctor, Alexander Chuchalin, warned on Wednesday that walking in the streets of Moscow is like smoking two packs of cigarettes every few hours because of the large concentration of toxins in the air."
Hundreds of Russians have drowned this summer while trying to cool off in local waters. Alcohol is said to have contributed to many of the drowning deaths. Heat and drought have killed crops and fueled forest fires that have destroyed whole villages.
(AP PHOTO/ Igor Yakunin)