The climate in Russia

Average daytime and nighttime temperatures

All climate diagrams on this page come from the collected data of 232 weather stations.
Weather stations at an altitude above 1070m have not been included.
All data correspond to the average monthly values of the last 20 years.

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Climate zones of Russia

The northern parts of the country, including Murmansk and Siberia, lie in the cold polar zone of the Arctic Ocean. Further south, large parts of the country are in the temperate climate zone and the southernmost regions near the Black Sea belong to the subtropics. Far to the east, near Japan, there is a monsoon climate. With an area of over 17 million km², Russia does not have a uniform climate.

Temperatures within the elongated country are subject to extreme fluctuations. While it can get as cold as -60°C at night in eastern Siberia, the steppe regions of the central country often have temperatures of 35 degrees and higher. Precipitation is generally lower. Winds are very dry in large parts of Russia, and humidity is also lower as the weather gets colder.

Why it is so cold in Russia

Most of Russia's cities are located west of the Ural Mountains and below the Arctic Circle in more temperate climates. Over 80 percent of the country's population lives here. Although it gets up to 27 degrees Celsius in the summer, even in Moscow, the winters are harsh. The fact this region it is comparatively cold is due to the topography of the country. There are no mountains on the northern coasts, so arctic winds can penetrate deep into the interior. The Urals run almost on a north-south axis between the 62nd and 66th degrees of longitude and offer no protection from the cold air masses of the Arctic. Even in the regions further east and south near Irkutsk, close to Mongolia, there is still a subarctic climate with temperatures as low as -30 degrees in the winter months. At the same time, the city lies on the 52nd degree of longitude at the same altitude as Central Europe.

Yakutsk: Coldest city in the world

The coldest city in the world is Yakutsk in the Far Eastern Republic of Sakha, about 4,900 km from Moscow. While it can reach up to 30 degrees in the summer, the temperatures sink in the winter regularly to values under -45 degrees. In such weather conditions, no car will start and even the supply of drinking water is problematic. The winter here lasts eight months on average.
Duration of daylight and sunshine in Russia
Compare climate with other regions or countries
Hours of sunshine per daySunshine hours per day in Russia
Rain days per monthRain days per month in Russia
Precipitation in mm/dayPrecipitation in Russia
Water temperatureWater temperatures in Russia
Relative humidity in %Relative humidity in Russia
Absolute humidity in g/m³Absolute humidity in Russia

Federal districts in Russia

All figures per year. For detailed climate data click on the name of the region.

Federal districtTemperature
max Ø day
min Ø night
Far East3.2 °C-5.9 °C2,008 h85 588 l72.0 %
North Caucasus17.8 °C8.3 °C2,154 h85 730 l74.0 %
Northwest Russia8.5 °C0.8 °C1,716 h116 624 l79.0 %
Siberia4.8 °C-6.6 °C2,081 h85 409 l71.0 %
South Russia15.7 °C6.2 °C2,227 h76 555 l70.0 %
Ural Mountains5.7 °C-4.0 °C2,008 h94 478 l72.0 %
Volga9.8 °C0.3 °C2,008 h100 533 l72.0 %
Central Russia11.5 °C2.9 °C1,971 h102 606 l75.0 %

Temperature records of the last 203 years

The hottest temperature measured from 1820 to January 2023 was reported by the Yashkul weather station. In July 2010, the record temperature of 44.0 °C was reported here. The hottest summer from July to September, based on all 306 weather stations in Russia below 1,070 meters altitude, was recorded in 1938 with an average temperature of 20.0 °C. This average temperature will normally be measured every four to six hours, thus also including the nights. Normally, this value is 12.7 degrees Celsius.

The coldest day in these 203 years was reported by the Ojmjakon weather station. Here the temperature dropped to -68.7 °C in February 2002. Ojmjakon lies at an altitude of 740 meters above sea level. The coldest winter (January to March) was in 1969 with an average temperature of -22.6 °C. In Russia, it is usual to have about 6.1 degrees more at -16.6 °C for this three-month period.

The most precipitation fell in November 1995. With 19.7 mm per day, the Petropavlovsk Kamchatskij weather station recorded the highest monthly average of the last 203 years. Incidentally, the region with the most rainfall for the whole year is around Krasnaya Polyana. The driest region is near Ostrov Chetyrekhstolbovoy.

Long-term development of temperatures from 1975 - 2022

In contrast to single record values, long-term development cannot simply be brought about by all weather stations in the country. Both the number and the locations are constantly changing. An average value would give a distorted result. If several measuring stations in particularly cold mountain or coastal regions are added in one year, the average would decrease as a result of this alone. If a station fails during the summer or winter months, it does not provide any values and distorts the average again. The subsequent long-term development was therefore reduced to only 3 measuring points in order to have comparable data over as long a period as possible.

In the years 1975 to 2022, there were only these 3 weather stations in the whole country, which reported continuous temperature values (Jakutsk, Juzhno Sahalinsk, Arhangelsk). From these weather reports, we have created a long-term development that shows the monthly average temperatures. The hottest month in this entire period was July 2022 at 20.0 °C. January 1985 was the coldest month with an average temperature of -28.6 °C.

The average annual temperature was about -2.4 °C in the years after 1975 and about -0.2 °C in the last years before 2022. So in less than 48 years, it has increased by about 2.2 °C. This trend only applies to the selected 3 weather stations in Russia. A considerably more comprehensive evaluation of global warming has been provided separately.

Long-term development of temperatures in Russia

Data basis and methodology

The data from the individual measuring stations are based on the archives of the German Weather Service, individual values averaged and supplemented by own elements. In order to determine a representative national average, average values were first calculated for each part of the country, which were then summarized at the national level. Thus, if a disproportionate number of weather stations are located in a small area, their number does not affect the national average.
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