Southeast winds continue to bring acrid smog to Moscow
The poor ecological situation in Moscow will remain unchanged due to the continuing heat wave and ongoing southeast winds bringing peat bog smog into the city, a statement published on the Meteonovosti weather forecast website said on Monday, according to RIA Novosti.
"According to the latest data by the Meteorological Bureau of Moscow, the maximum temperature in Moscow will be 35-37 degrees Celsius (95-98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and in the Moscow region it will reach 33-38 degrees Celsius (91.4-100.4 degrees Fahrenheit)," the statement said.
Health experts say that even healthy people may feel sick in these unfriendly conditions.
"People who suffer from heart or lung problems, diabetes, thyroid gland conditions or metabolic disease are dealing with [the ecological situation] extremely hard due to lack of oxygen in the air," the statement said.
Muscovites have no chance to escape from the heat and haze as even the subway system, which is traditionally considered a cool haven to hide from the heat, because the acrid smog has already engulfed the rapid transit system.
A scorching heat wave has gripped much of European Russia since mid-June, sparking wildfires and causing the worst drought in decades.
The fires have been burning for two weeks, with a total of 51 people reported killed. The hot weather is forecast to continue well into the week, and the southerly and easterly winds blowing smoke across the capital are not expected to shift for at least a couple of days.
Some 3,500 have been left homeless across the central part of European Russia.
The smog in the Russian capital has been far worse than usual for more than a couple of weeks as smoke from nearby peat bog and forest fires has mixed with exhaust fumes and other pollutants, bringing pollution to an all-time high of 6-7 times the norm over the past weekend.
Peat bog and forest fires raging outside the capital pushed pollution levels to new 2010 highs on Saturday, with carbon monoxide 6.5 times the maximum allowable concentration, but conditions eased a bit on Sunday.
The record-breaking heat wave in Moscow will continue through mid-August, meteorologists say.