By Steve Goddard
Not all parts of the Russian Federation experienced unusual warmth on July 20–27, 2010. A large expanse of northern central Russia, for instance, exhibits below-average temperatures. Areas of atypical warmth, however, predominate in the east and west. Orange- and red-tinged areas extend from eastern Siberia toward the southwest, but the most obvious area of unusual warmth occurs north and northwest of the Caspian Sea. These warm areas in eastern and western Russia continue a pattern noticeable earlier in July, and correspond to areas of intense drought and wildfire activity.
Looking at the NASA image, it is clear that more land is below normal temperatures than is above. So I generated the map below, which flattens all areas of above and below normal temperatures.
It turns out that the map has 43% more pixels which are below normal than above normal. The map is not a perfect equal area projection, so the 43% is not a precise number. But it does give a feel for the fact that the Moscow heat wave was just weather.