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    Moscow enjoys warmest January in 130 years

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    "This is a unique phenomenon for the coldest month of the year," Alexei Lyakhov, the head of the hydro-meteorological bureau for Moscow and the Moscow Region said. "We have never registered such temperatures."

    MOSCOW, January 15 (RIA Novosti) - The first two weeks of January have been the warmest the Russian capital has seen in 130 years, a top meteorologist said Monday.

    The mild spell, which is more typical of the October-November period, began in December and has continued into January, with average temperature staying above zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit).

    "This is a unique phenomenon for the coldest month of the year," Alexei Lyakhov, the head of the hydro-meteorological bureau for Moscow and the Moscow Region said. "We have never registered such temperatures."

    He said the average temperature for January 1 was minus 8.2°C (17.2°F), and minus 9°C (15.8°F) for January 14.

    Last year, conversely, most of Russia was gripped by bitter cold as temperatures plummeted to minus 34°C (minus 29.2°F) on the night of January 19-20, beating the minus 32°C (minus 25.6°F) record registered for the same day in 1927.

    The weather expert said that on January 10 the temperature climbed to plus 8°C, beating the 1957 record of plus 4°, and on January 11 it hit another record of plus 8.6°, surpassing the record set January 11, 1991 (plus 4.6°).

    The rest of Central Russia is also experiencing an unprecedented European-like winter, leading to unprecedented phenomena, including blossoming flowers and swelling buds in the city of Kursk, 370 miles southwest of Moscow.

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