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11 Mar, 2021 10:27

Siberia set for freak warm weather as Russian experts predict thawing temperatures significantly higher than frosty spring average

Siberia set for freak warm weather as Russian experts predict thawing temperatures significantly higher than frosty spring average

Russia’s snowy hinterland is set for an abnormal spell of relatively warm weather this week, with the mercury pushing up well beyond normal. Last year saw record-breaking summers, thawing ice and forest fires throughout Siberia.

Much of the vast Asian territory of the country will enjoy unusually moderate weather from Thursday, Roman Vilfand, the scientific director of Russia’s Hydrometeorological Center, told journalists. Vilfand confirmed that the south of Central Siberia, as well as the Far East Federal district, would see temperatures rise above freezing to as much as 10C above normal for this time of year.

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Irkutsk, near to the iconic icy waters of Lake Baikal, a popular tourist destination, will record temperatures of around 8C (46F), putting its weather conditions on a par with places like Vienna in Austria.

The Transbaikalia region of the Far East is set for an even more unseasonable thaw, due to be 12C warmer than average.

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Last year, at the height of summer, Siberia recorded the highest ever temperatures seen above the Arctic Circle. The small town of Verkhoyansk sweltered in temperatures of 38C (100F). More than a million hectares of Siberian woodland was torched as forest fires rampaged through the remote region of Yakutia.

At the same time, the region saw a near-record breaking freeze during this winter, clocking chilly readings as low as -50C (-58F). At the time, Vilfand warned that “global warming is not only high temperatures, but also a large amplitude of variability.”

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