Russians head for lakes as Moscow swelters in near-record heat
PSKOV/MOSCOW, July 12 (Reuters) - People are heading to lakes to cool off as a heatwave sweeps western Russia, driving temperatures in Moscow towards record highs.
The capital's daytime temperatures are forecast at 30-35 degrees Celsius in the coming days and could break record highs on three days this week that have stood since 1936, 1951 and 2010, the RIA news agency reported.
In the western city of Pskov, near the border with Estonia, a lakeside beach was packed at the weekend with families trying to cool off in the oppressive heat.
"People are suffering, just suffering! They wait until evening for the end of the working day and then head straight for the lake," said Iskak, a resident who did not give his last name.
Last month the air temperature in Moscow reached 34.8C (94.64 degrees Fahrenheit), the hottest recorded in the month of June in 142 years of monitoring, the city's weather authorities were cited by Interfax news agency as saying.
In the capital on Monday, the temperature hit 31C. A polar bear napped in the shade at the zoo, while gardeners lamented their parched plants at one of the city's botanical gardens.
Pavel Konstantinov, a meteorologist at Moscow State University, said the heatwave had been caused by a "blocking anticyclone" that had moved in from Scandinavia.
"The increase in the frequency of dangerous weather events and in particular heatwaves unavoidably accompany global warming," he told Reuters.
"It's already clear they will happen more and more often and we need to prepare for them not as extremely rare events as in the past, but as dangerous weather phenomena that occur in populated parts of Russia," he said.
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