25 Feb 2020 21:17

Moscow experiencing warmest winter on record

MOSCOW. Feb 25 (Interfax) - The winter of 2019-2020 has been the warmest winter in Moscow since recordkeeping began, with the previous record broken by two degrees Celsius in one go, Roman Vilfand, scientific director of the Hydrometeorological center, told Interfax.

"The current winter is the warmest yet. Discussions are still ongoing as to whether the seasonal average will be above zero or not, but it is already clear that the previous record will be beaten by at least two degrees. This is a lot, improbably so," Vilfand said on Tuesday.

The previous record comes from the winter of 1960-1961, when the average temperature in the capital was -2.8 degrees Celsius. The second warmest winter was in 2006-2008, at -3.8 degrees. Vilfand says the average seasonal temperature is a characteristic that normally changes very insignificantly, but this year's record is unique in being very significant.

Nationwide, this winter is only a possible record-breaker, as seasonal averages have yet to be calculated. But, this winter is certain to make the top three warmest in history, Vilfand said. The results are due in early March.

Earlier, Vilfand explained to Interfax why this winter has been so warm. He blamed a confluence of three factors: a strong current of Atlantic warmth across Eurasia toward the Pacific, the departure of the Siberian anti-cyclone into China, and the presence of a steady polar swirl which "locked out" the Arctic cold.