Heat intensifies Siberian wildfires

August 7, 2013
The map above shows land surface temperature anomalies for July 20, 2013. Rather than depicting absolute temperatures, the map shows how much the temperatures for that week differed from the long-term average for the area. Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

The summer of 2012 was the most severe wildfire season Russia had faced in a decade. 2013 might be headed in the same direction after an unusual heat wave brought a surge of fire activity in northern Siberia in July.

A persistent high-pressure weather pattern in the Russian Arctic—a blocking high—contributed to the heat wave, which saw temperatures reach 32° Celsius (90° Fahrenheit) in the northern city of Norilsk. For comparison, daily July highs in Norilsk average 16° Celsius (61° Fahrenheit). Blocking highs are so named because they block the jet stream from moving rain-bearing weather systems along their normal west-to-east path; this leads to "stuck" with long periods of stable air and exceptional heat.

The map above shows anomalies for July 20

Explore further: US Southwest heatwave set to reach world record levels

Related Stories

New York heat wave kills four

July 23, 2013

The heat wave that hit New York last week killed four elderly people, the office of the city's chief medical examiner (OCME)said Monday.

Recommended for you

Entire Himalayan arc can produce large earthquakes

October 26, 2016

The main fault at the foot of the Himalayan mountains can likely generate destructive, major earthquakes along its entire 2,400-kilometer (1,500-mile) length, a new study finds. Combining historical documents with new geologic ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.