As of 4 p.m. local time Thursday, Moscow is a sweltering 100 degrees F (37.8 C) after an uncomfortable low of 79 F (26.1 C) Thursday morning. The all-time record high is 100 F and has been tied twice in the last week and a new all-time record high is likely to be set Thursday as the city still had a few hours of heating as of the time of this writing.
People in non-essential jobs are being urged to stay home from work and to refrain from driving their cars as there are major issues with air quality.
More than 1,000 peat fires have flared up in the last several weeks due to the heat and the lack of rain, and this in conjunction with the heat have caused smog levels to be 10 times the safe level in Moscow.
Because of Moscow's climate, very few homes or businesses have air conditioning, and even indoors it is dangerous for people who are ill, the very young and the elderly.
Temperatures this month are averaging 8 degrees above normal, which is an unbelievable figure. All aspects of life in Moscow and surrounding areas are being affected by the combination of near-drought conditions and the heat.
People with respiratory problems are being told to take proper precautions, crops are suffering, water supplies are being stressed and numerous wildfires are being reported as well. Hundreds and perhaps even thousands of drowning deaths have been reported across western Russia as people try to find relief in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams as they are only places where people can swim.
However, there is relief in sight. This weekend, a cold front will move into the area and will cause scattered thunderstorms and will also knock temperatures down a few degrees. However, a widespread, soaking, steady rainfall is not expected and temperatures, while lower than extreme levels recently experienced, will still be above the average.
Story by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Mark Paquette