Weather in Russia

Winter in Russia - Zima
Arctic Circle in Murmanskaya Oblast
Photo by Konstantin Zamkov cc-by 2.0

There is an established stereotype among foreigners that Russia is a country of eternal frost and snow-covered streets where bears roam. This is all because for many years foreigners were frightened by the phrase "Russian winter". Many recall Napoleon's army, which did not last the harsh cold in the year of 1812, or Hitler's army which lost all hope of victory unable to cross through the extreme cold temperature. But it's not all that simple, Russia is a vast country and the weather in different areas can be completely different.

Russian Winter: What it's like?

Because of the vast size of the territory, Russia consists of several continental zones. For example, in the north winters are long and harsh, in some places there is lots of snow fall and temperatures fall below -40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit). These winters are normal, not only in the northern regions of the country but even in the Far East. Summers in these areas don't even see three warm months out of the year.

The coldest inhabited place on Earth is located in Oymyakon, a tiny village in Yakutia, Russian Far East with population of slightly above 500. The lowest temperature registered there was −71.2 °C (−96.2 °F) in 1924.

Summer: Here comes the sun

Summer in Russia - cherry
Cherries in summer
By WomEOS cc-by-sa 2.0

The closer you get to the south the warmer the Russian climate gets. In the central part of the country summer becomes warm--even hot--which makes it possible for a good harvest of grain, fruit and vegetables. Winters here are not extremely cold and the average winter temperature does not fall below -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit). By the way, in Russia the real warmth does not start until the middle of April. And only in the end of May does everything start to bloom and people go without their warm clothing.

The summers can be very hot even in places where winters are very cold. The seasons change is dramatic. For example, in Vladivostok (Far-Eastern Russia), the record low was −31.4 C (−24.5 F) in January and the record high was 33.6 C (92.5 F) in July. High humidity makes the summers feel even more hot.

Russian resorts - A great vacation place

However, there are cities in Russia where the weather resembles the climate of some American States. For example, in Sochi the summer air temperature warms up to about +40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Therefore in Sothern Russia especially near the sea shores or the lakes there are lots of resorts. In the summer time people travel here to enjoy the warm water and get a good tan. Russian resorts are modern and comfortable. There are lots of great attractions for tourists.

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