Climate and monthly weather forecast

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The climate of Russia

Russia, the country with the largest land area in the world, has a predominantly continental climate. European Russia, including southern parts of Siberia and the Far East, has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa, Dfb, Dwa, Dwb). Northern Siberia and the Northern Pole of Cold is subarctic (Köppen Dfd, Dwd), with severely cold winters. The islands in the Arctic Ocean exhibit a polar climate (Köppen EF, ET). A small portion near the Black Sea coast has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), while the region along the Caspian Sea coast and southernmost Siberia display a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk). Russia lies in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia and shares borders with sixteen countries. The high latitudes, air masses from the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, and proximity to large water bodies, primarily affect the climate.

Russia has a predominantly forested taiga region in the north, with a tundra zone along the northern coast. The rest of the country mainly consists of vast plains, with extensive steppe grasslands in the south. The Caucasus and Altai mountain ranges lie along the southern borders, while the volcanoes of the Kamchatka Peninsula lie in eastern Siberia. The Ural Mountains run north-south to divide Russia between Europe and Asia. The vast coastline of 22,991 miles runs along the Arctic and Pacific Oceans and at least a dozen seas. Thousands of rivers and lakes contribute to the largest surface water reserves on the planet. The Volga is the largest river in Russia and the longest in Europe. The Ob and Yenisey rivers are amongst the longest in the world. Glaciers store a substantial amount of frozen water. Lake Baikal is the world's deepest freshwater lake and along with major lakes like Ladoga and Onega contains a quarter of the world's liquid freshwater. Mount Elbrus is the highest point at 5642 meters in Russia.

The best time to visit Russia

The best time to visit Russia is during the summer. July and August are the warmest months in the Asian part of Russia. In the arctic and subarctic regions of Siberia, summer is the only period when temperatures are above freezing. However, the melting of snow causes slush and mud in the early part of the summer. The southern cities have comfortable conditions from June to August. The southernmost, like Vladivostok, have moderate sunshine even in September. European Russia is warm from late May to September, but the northernmost parts have warm conditions only in July and August. The southern regions close to the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus are hot in the summer and have moderate temperatures in May and September.

The worst time to visit Russia

The worst time to visit Russia is the bitter winter season from December to February and the ensuing months of March and April when the snow thaws. The Pole of Cold area in Siberia is colder than even the North Pole. Winter temperatures in Ojmjakon and Yakutsk range from -30°C (-22°F) to -51.1°C (-60°F), which can cause fatalities within minutes due to exposure to the cold. The sunshine is almost non-existent. Sea temperatures are below freezing. Mountains receive substantial deposits of snow. The melting of snow blocks roads and the slush and mud make driving a challenge. Long thermal underwear, fur caps, parkas, boots, and Goretex jackets are necessary to withstand the cold.

Spring weather in Russia

In Russia, spring is a period of transition with melting snow and warming temperatures. In the southern regions, spring brings mild weather with temperatures ranging from 10°C (50°F) to 20°C (68°F). As one moves northwards, temperatures become cooler, averaging between 0°C (32°F) and 10°C (50°F). During this season, rain showers are frequent, particularly in European Russia and the regions bordering the Black and Caspian Seas. In contrast, northern Siberia and the tundra region continue to experience freezing conditions.

Summer weather in Russia

Summers in Russia offer a stark contrast to the harsh winters, with temperatures fluctuating significantly across the country. The northern coastal regions experience mild summers, while the interior and southern regions can get quite hot, with temperatures often exceeding 30°C (86°F). Frequent thunderstorms and rain mark the summer season in the northwestern region. The Caspian and Black Sea regions enjoy hot, sunny summers, while the Central Asian winds, known as the Sukhoviei, bring warm conditions.

Autumn weather in Russia

Autumn in Russia is characterized by falling temperatures and increasing precipitation. The early part of the season sees comfortable temperatures, ranging from 10°C (50°F) to 20°C (68°F) in the southern parts, but these temperatures gradually drop as winter approaches. In northern Siberia and the Arctic regions, autumn can be harsh, with temperatures plunging below freezing, and snowfall beginning as early as October. The rainfall during this period contributes significantly to the annual precipitation levels in the region.

Winter weather in Russia

Winters in Russia are notoriously severe, particularly in the northern and Siberian regions. Average low temperatures in these areas frequently drop below -40°C (-40°F). Precipitation during winter mostly falls as snow, creating a stunning but inhospitable landscape. The southern regions experience a more moderate winter, yet the temperatures remain below freezing. The Arctic coast and northern islands remain frozen throughout the winter, and much of Siberia and Yakutia experiences permafrost and predominantly gray skies.

Weather in January

January in Russia, the heart of the winter season, is characterized by biting cold temperatures. In the northern and central parts, particularly in the Siberian region, January is the coldest month of the year. The coldest inhabited place on Earth, Oymyakon, located in the eastern part of Russia, frequently sees temperatures plummeting to a chilling -50°C (-58°F) in January. The central parts of the country, including cities such as Moscow and Saint Petersburg, also experience harsh winters. Weather in January »

Weather in February

As winter persists in Russia, February remains a month of frigid temperatures, but it generally presents a slight increase in warmth compared to the peak cold experienced in January. Despite this modest shift, winters are still formidable across the vast country, and conditions vary considerably from region to region. Siberia, the northern parts of Russia, and areas within the Arctic Circle continue to endure the brunt of the winter cold. Weather in February »

Weather in March

March in Russia is a month of transition, as the severe winter starts to yield to the onset of spring. Despite this, temperatures across the country generally remain in the cold range, although warmer days start to appear towards the end of the month. In Siberia and the northern parts of the country, the intense cold begins to moderate somewhat. Weather in March »

Weather in April

April symbolises the arrival of spring in Russia, bringing a considerable increase in temperatures across the country. However, the weather can still be unpredictable, with alternating periods of warmth and cold spells. In the frigid regions of Siberia, April introduces some warmth, yet temperatures remain in the negative. Weather in April »

Weather in May

As the gateway to the warm summer months, May brings a significant change in Russia's climate, with rising temperatures and extended daylight hours across the country. In the usually harsh regions of Siberia, the weather takes a turn for the better. Weather in May »

Weather in June

In Russia, June signifies the onset of summer and brings noticeable warmth to the entire country. It is a month of significant climatic shifts, with longer daylight hours and predominantly sunny weather. Siberia, typically associated with severe cold, experiences pleasant weather during June. Weather in June »

Weather in July

July in Russia brings the peak of summer, characterized by the warmest temperatures of the year. The length of daylight remains extended, with longer hours in the northern regions and more consistent sun exposure throughout the country. In Siberia, the temperatures during July are surprisingly warm. Weather in July »

Weather in August

August signifies the latter part of summer in Russia, with weather conditions generally remaining warm but starting to show signs of the approaching autumn. The days gradually start to shorten, and there's a slight decrease in average temperatures across the country. In the vast expanse of Siberia, the weather remains pleasantly warm during August. Weather in August »

Weather in September

September in Russia marks the beginning of autumn. The weather during this month is notably cooler than the summer months, with temperatures decreasing progressively throughout the country. The landscape begins to transform, taking on the beautiful hues of autumn and offering a picturesque view. In Siberia, September sees temperatures significantly dropping, especially towards the end of the month. Weather in September »

Weather in October

October brings a substantial shift in weather across Russia, marking a definitive transition into autumn. The temperatures continue their downward trend, while the landscapes change their colors to spectacular hues of red, orange, and yellow. In the expansive Siberian region, the mercury dips considerably during October. Weather in October »

Weather in November

November in Russia heralds the onset of winter across most parts of the country, bringing colder temperatures, reduced daylight hours, and increased precipitation in the form of snow. The vast Siberian region experiences a significant plunge in temperatures during November. Weather in November »

Weather in December

December is synonymous with the heart of winter across Russia, characterized by plummeting temperatures, increased snowfall, and decreased daylight hours. In Siberia, December presents extreme cold, with temperatures often descending into icy depths. Weather in December »


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