The climate of Russia
Russia is the largest country in the world; therefore it has several
different climate zones. There is no other country that has as many
differences in temperature as this immense country that stretches out
over two continents: Asia and Europe. During the winter temperatures
may plummet to -50 degrees Celsius; during the summer temperatures may
reach 40-50 degrees Celsius. A difference of (almost) 100 degrees
Celsius, a phenomenon that occurs only on a few places in the world.
Despite its enormous size Russia only has a few climate types
according to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification. The largest
part of the country has a cold continental climate or a moderate
continental climate, types Dfb and Dfc. Parts of Siberia have a cold
continental climate with dry winters (type Dwc) or a cold (subarctic)
continental climate with dry winters. In the south-westerly tip of the
country steppe climates and sea climates occur. The north-easterly tip
of the country has a high mountain climate. The northern strip of
Russia has a Tundra climate (type ET) with a transition zone where it
becomes an ice climate (type EH)
Climate information of places and areas in Russia
The climate information given on this page is only brief. Specific
information on weather and climate can be found on the pages per
region or city. The following climate information is available for
Winters in Russia are dark and cold. In the areas with a moderate
climate light to medium frost can be expected during the night. During
the day temperatures may rise above freezing point. The further you
move away from the Black Sea and Europe the lower temperatures will
be. During the coldest months of the year temperatures in the capital
Moscow are -12 degrees Celsius during the night and -6 degrees Celsius
during the day. However, these are averages. Bear in mind that
temperatures may drop much lower than these averages. Temperatures of
-20 degrees Celsius during the day are not uncommon in Moscow. In
Siberia it even gets much colder. In Yakutsk temperatures are -37
degrees Celsius during the day and -45 degrees Celsius during the
night. Only from April temperatures will rise above freezing point
again to reach summer or even tropical temperatures during the summer.
Winters in Russia are not only cold, they are dark as well. December,
January and February only get one hour of sunshine per day on average.
The northern tip of Russia doesn’t even get one hour of sunshine per
day. Here you have a really dark and cold period. Low precipitation
figures during the winter are also a striking phenomenon. More than
90% of Russia only gets 30 millimeters of precipitation per month from
December till February; almost all of which falls in the form of snow.
However, low temperatures are responsible for quite a thick layer of
snow in most places in Russia.
The largest part of Russia doesn’t get the cooling effect of the sea,
so temperatures may rise. After a long winter spring is only short
(April-May). After this temperatures start to rise to summer values.
In June temperatures are above 20 degrees Celsius in most places.
Exceptions are the areas above the polar circle and the mountainous
areas in the eastern part of Russia. In July and August temperatures
rise even higher. The European part of Russia is reasonably moderate
with maximum temperatures of 22-23 degrees Celsius. The further you
move east the higher temperatures get. The places that are coldest
during the winter record tropical temperatures during the summer.
Summers are also wetter than winters. Despite the high temperatures
Siberia has a large surface area where only the upper layer of the
soil thaws. The deeper parts have permafrost. Scientists predict that
the permafrost will also thaw in the future due to global warming,
with dire consequences for the environment and the climate. The part
of Russia below the Arctic Circle gets 40-80 millimeters of rain per
month during summer. Thunderstorms are uncommon in Russia. Russia gets
about 10-20 thunderstorm days.
Hurricanes and heavy storms are uncommon in Russia. This is because
the land is situated in the north. There are no strong wind currents
flowing across Russia so heavy winds are uncommon. However, fierce
winds may blow along the north-westerly coasts and in the areas
surrounding the Black Sea. Cold gusts of wind may cause relatively
strong winds here during the winter.
The figures below are for the city of Moscow. These climate
figures cannot be seen as an average for Russia. Because the climate
of Russia is so diverse please go to the individual pages for climate
information on other places and regions in Russia and use them as a
More climate information
Climate tables are useful but they don’t give an overall picture of
the climate and possible weather conditions during a period of time.
How high the chances are of hot or cold weather or hurricanes can
often not be found in these tables. This is why we offer extra climate
information per month. The information below is an average for Moscow
centrally situated in the western part of Russia.
Please visit the individual pages for climate information on other
places and regions in Russia and use them as a reference.
The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. “More climate info” is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, it’s up to the reader to use it to it’s benefit.