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Russia's Climate


Northern & Central European Russia experience the country's most varied climate; mildest areas are along the Baltic coast. Summer sunshine may be nine hours a day. Across the northern regions of Russia and along the Arctic coast summers are cool. A warm period can last from June through August or be as short as a few weeks. At Archangel, near the shores of the White Sea, the average temperature exceeds 15.5°C (60°F) only in June, July, and August. Rainfall in this region is moderate at best. Further east, at Tiksi on Siberia's northern coast, summer lasts for a few weeks in July when the average high temperature reaches 10°C (50°F). This cold, dry region receives little precipitation, most of which falls between June and September. August is the wettest month, when Tiksi gets an average of 48 mm (1.9 in) of rainfall.

Central European Russia, located at about the same latitudes as Great Britain, enjoys warm summers. Moscow and St Petersburg share similar summer temperatures, both averaging around 21°C (71°F) in July. Volgograd, further southeast along the Volga River, averages 27C (82°F) during July. The Central Russian Uplands receive over half their annual rainfall during the months from May to September.

Southern European Russia's steppe lands are hot and dry during the summer months, particularly in the southeastern deserts near the Caspian Sea. The coastal city of Sochi enjoys a moderating influence from the Black Sea, but still records temperatures between 32 and 35°C (90 and 95°F) between June and August. The lowlands bordering the north and northeastern Black Sea have heavy rainfall all the year round.

East of the Ural Mountains, summer in Siberia is a warm, even pleasant time of year, although it tends to be rather short and wet. Summer on the Urals lasts an average of 65-70 days with an average temperature of 20°C (68°C). In the southern Siberian city of Irkutsk, summer lasts from June to the end of August, with average daytime high temperatures ranging from 20 to 22°C (68 to 72°F). In the central Siberian city of Yakutsk however, average temperatures during the same period range from 9 to 12°C (49 to 54°F). Oddly, the highest temperatures at Irkutsk usually occur in May and June, while at Yakutsk, temperatures peak in July. The wettest months in Yakutsk come in July and August, when the area gets a sparse 76 mm (3.0 in) of rain.

The climate of the Russian Far East can vary greatly from one location to the next. Many inland areas get quite hot and temperatures can climb to a scorching 40°C (104°F). Along the coastal regions however, the cold waters of the East Sea keep temperatures much cooler and wetter. The port of Magadan on the Sea of Okhotsk, has an average July temperature of 13°C (56°F). Magadan's highest recorded temperature in July was only a pleasant 23°C (75°F). In Vladivostok, much further to the southwest, August brings the highest temperatures, with an average of only 22°C (72°F). This historic seaport rarely exceeds 31°C (88°F). Vladivostok gets over half its average annual rainfall of 718 mm (28.3 in) between June and September.


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