Siberia is hit by record 105.8F heatwave as Russian region ‘skips spring’ and goes from freezing winter ‘straight into summer’
- Temperatures reached 106F in Altai Mountain foothills, with May records broken
- Western Siberia have had temperatures of 77F to 95F, far hotter than typical
- People are seen paddle boarding and sunbathing in icy regions as heatwave hits
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Siberia is sizzling in a heatwave as locals say a swathe of this vast Russian region went straight from winter into a roasting summer, skipping spring.
Temperatures have touched 106F (41C) in the Altai Mountain foothills, with May records broken in many locations and residents stifling as they stay home seeking to fend off the threat of coronavirus.
Some have broken out to river and lake beaches to bask in the Saudi-like temperatures in a region more famous as the coldest inhabited place on the planet.
May in the city of Krasnoyarsk as record-breaking air temperatures ranging from 77F (25C) to 95F (35C) were observed all around Western Siberia
Areas in western Siberia have reported temperatures of 77F (25C) to 95F (35C), far hotter than typical for the time of year.
In one of many freak weather consequences, ice at Arctic port of Dudinka on the Yenisei River melted a full month before its usual time of early June.
To the south in Kransoyarsk ticks are swarming some 200 times more than normal, carrying the threat of encephalitis and Lyme disease.
More than 1,000 people have reported tick bites in Kemerovo region, and further west in Tyumen doctors have registered 100 cases a day, said head of regional infectious hospital Galina Polushkina.
A woman enjoys hot may temperatures in the city of Novosibirsk, Russia’s third largest city by population
Three women enjoy a drink on the porch in fine weather in the city of Novosibirsk this week
A woman sits among wild flowers in Krasnoyarsk as temperatures have soared ‘skipping spring’ entirely
Trees and flowers are blooming weeks ahead of schedule in Western Siberia due to the record breaking warm May weather
A record number of wildfires have raged earlier than usual in Siberia, with hundreds of houses and two million hectares destroyed by the end of April.
There are fears for harvests due to the excessive early heat.
Apple and cherry trees which normally bloom at the end of May were in full blossom in late April.
‘It’s like there was no spring and we moved from the end of winter with metres-high piles of snow straight into summer,’ Barnaul radio journalist Sergey Zubchuk told The Siberian Times.
Weeks of hot and dry weather also spiked the number of wildfries around Siberia and Yakutia
Ice is breaking on river Yenisey in the Arctic port of Dudinka weeks ahead of schedule. The usual time is beginning to middle of June
A ship is surrounded by melting ice on the river Yenisey in the Arctic port of Dudinka
Large areas of ice have broken into segments in the river Yenisey in the Arctic port of Dudinka
Water flows through sheets of ice as temperatures cause ice to melt on the river Yenisey
‘There was no spring, no weeks-long gentle rise of temperature.
‘Somebody just clicked the ‘hot air’ switch at the end of April, and summer began.
‘I’m Siberian-born and lived here for 60 years, I don’t remember a single spring like this.’
The hot May follows an unusually mild winter.
A group of friends in the city of Novosibirsk go paddle boarding during the heatwave this week
Women enjoy the sun in the southern city of Abakan (left) and Omsk, south western Siberia (right)
Experts predict anomalous warm temperatures – up to 86F (30C) higher than typical – in western Siberia and the Arctic Circle in the coming days.
Overall, Russia averaged 43F (6C) above normal during the first four months of 2020.
Oil city Surgut reported 82F (28C) in mid-May, some ten degrees above the norm.
‘The heat wave came to us from the southwest, almost Iran’, said Professor Alexey Kozhukhovskiy for the Siberian Federal University.