While foreigners may mostly associate Moscow with icy cold winters, forecasters this week warned of a less common weather phenomenon — drought-producing winds, the likes of which have not be observed in the Russian capital for more than 60 years.
The winds, known as "sukhovey", or dry winds, are typically caused when temperatures are above 25 degrees C, air humidity is low and winds exceed 5 kilometers an hour. In such conditions, water quickly evaporates from the soil, causing damage to crops and grains.
The "sukhovey" — most prevalent in the deserts of Africa and Asia Minor — arrived in Moscow after a sustained period of hot weather in the capital, which has led to a drying out of the city's topsoil, weather website meteonovosti.ru reported Wednesday.
And it seems Muscovites hoping for some respite from the weather are in for a bit of a wait, with the regional weather bureau predicting the heat will continue until at least Saturday, Interfax reported Thursday.
The recent heat wave has already led to a 117-year-old temperature record being broken as the thermometer touched 28.6 degrees C on Wednesday — the hottest June 4 since 1897 — with yet another record set to fall Thursday.
Moscow recorded its hottest June ever on June 21, 1901, when temperatures in the city rose to a sweltering 34.7 degrees C, Interfax reported.