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    Temperature in Moscow is near to reach the absolute record of 1920 with 36.8 degrees Celsius (98.24 degrees Fahrenheit), Moscow meteorological bureau's official said on Saturday.

    Temperature in Moscow is near to reach the absolute record of 1920 with 36.8 degrees Celsius (98.24 degrees Fahrenheit), Moscow meteorological bureau's official said on Saturday.

    "At 17:00 Moscow time (11:00 GMT) the principal meteorological station at the National Exhibition Center registered 36.7 degrees Celsius breaking the record of 1936 with the maximum temperature for July of 36.5 degrees," the official said, adding the temperature was unlikely to rise.

    July 24 became the hottest day for the 130-year history of the meteorological observations.

    The meteorologists said the next five days Moscow may see more record hot days with Sunday's temperature of 33.5 degrees and 34.8 degrees on Tuesday. These figures are the highest since 1936.

    On Friday, a source in the city's meteorological bureau said July 2010 had become the hottest month on record in Moscow.

    A heat wave has gripped Moscow since mid-June and there are no signs the temperatures will fall below 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in the near future.

    The scorching heat forced Muscovites to bathe in the city's fountains and to choose light beachwear for outings and even subway trips.

    Women abandoned high-heeled shoes in favor of flats and rushed to buy swimsuits forcing shops to order new batches of bikinis.

    The lucky owners of country houses, or dachas, have raided shops and online stores for inflatable pools, while it is almost impossible to buy an air conditioner or a ventilator in Moscow.

    Due to the heat, the Army has allowed its soldiers to roll up their sleeves and unbutton their shirts.

    The traditional changing of the infantry and cavalry guard at Cathedral Square near the Moscow Kremlin was cancelled on July 17 and does not take place on Saturday, July 24 since it is too hot for the sentries to wear their traditional early 20th century woolen parade uniforms and the horses are in danger of heatstroke.

    According to environmentalists, the heat wave in Russia has been caused by man-made global warming.

    MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti)

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