High Temperature Sets New Record

MTA couple recording their love digitally as they enjoy the unusually balmy weather on Manezh Square on Tuesday.
The mercury climbed to a record high on Tuesday as the temperature rose to 14.2 degrees Celsius, 2 degrees higher than the previous mark, set in 1973.

The freak weather was brought about by a warm front that moved into the region from the south, which was also responsible for the thick fog that caused difficulties at airports earlier in the day, said Yelena Timakina, chief of the weather forecasting division of the Moscow and Moscow Region Meteorological Bureau.

"Very warm, moist air came to the Moscow region from the Mediterranean," Timakina said. "First it caused rain at night, and fog formed in the moist air as it cooled."

"The fog cleared and the temperature began to rise, and is now already close to a record for Moscow," Timakina said at 2 p.m.

Tatyana Pozdnyakova, chief forecasting specialist at the bureau said later that the temperature reached 14.2 C.

The thick fog in the morning, meanwhile, caused the diversion of more than 40 incoming flights from Moscow airports as visibility in some instances was reduced to 100 meters.

The blanket fell at around 9 a.m., said Roman Genis, head of the news service at Sheremetyevo, which sent the most incoming flights -- 23, on to different airports.

Flights from destinations including Dubai, Chelyabinsk and Tashkent were diverted to Domodedovo Airport, where the fog was less severe, as well as to St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Rostov-on-Don.

The diverted flights began returning to Sheremetyevo at noon, Genis said.

Around 10 incoming flights were diverted from Vnukovo Airport, with most going to Nizhny Novgorod, a spokeswoman said.

Eight planes were unable to land at Domodedovo, said Darya Korshunova, the director of the airport's news service. They were sent to airports in St. Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod.

The fog had lifted by noon at the city's three civil airports, representatives at Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo said, while the police said there had been few weather-related problems on area highways.

There was no increase in road accidents due to the fog, said Vyacheslav Drubin, deputy chief of the city's traffic police information department.