The almost unbelievable heat wave that affected western Russia was unprecedented for that region, and also was one of the deadliest heat waves in world history. The heat wave’s death toll in Moscow alone was estimated by a city official to be approximately 11,000 in July and August. Russia’s 2nd largest city, St. Petersburg, reached 98.8°F (37.1°C) on August 7–the hottest ever recorded there, and 7°F hotter than its prior all-time heat record. Moscow recorded its hottest temperature since records began in 1878 (downtown observatory), with 102.2°F (39.0°C) on July 29. This surpassed the previous record (set in 1921) by 4°F, although the 98° old record from 1921 was exceeded on 4 days during July and August. The month of July was an amazing 15° above average in Moscow. Imagine if Washington D.C. experienced such an anomaly–its average July temperature is 77.5°F, so the average temperature in Washington in July would have been 92.5°F, about 9°F warmer than the record 83.1°F seen in 2010. Accordingly, twenty days in Washington, D.C. would have exceeded 100°F, with the hottest day a scorching 110°, 4°F higher than the previous all-time record. Of course, the continental climate of Moscow can not be compared to the more maritime climate of Washington DC so this comparison is not entirely valid but is, nevertheless, indicative of just how extreme the heat event in Russia really was.
The source article Wunder Blog Archive : Weather Underground .