Weather in Russia and other countries of former Soviet Union
If you have never been to Russia, you may think that Russian climate is unbearable. Mass media and filmmakers have created a stereotype that Russia is a gloomy country half covered with snow with awful winds and low temperatures. Let me assure you: it is far from being true. Russia is a vast country with a wide range of climatic zones.
Well, in some parts of Russia it is really very cold - probably, this is the reason why Russia is considered to be such a cold country. Thus, Eastern Siberia hosts the coldest places in the world, and the city Verkhoyansk which is situated in the northeast of Siberia is notorious for its extreme temperatures. The average temperature in winter is -51° C (-59° F), while in February it becomes -70°C (-90°F). All this can be explained. A great territory of the country has continental climate. The inland areas are situated far from the oceans with their moderating influences. As a rule, the more continental an area’s climate is, the more divergent and distinct its seasons are and the greater its absolute temperature range is. The climate in Siberia is very continental. The same city Verkhoyansk experiences 37° C (98° F) in July, so the absolute temperature range makes 105° C (188° F). Nowhere in the world is the absolute temperature range so great. However for the most part of Siberia the weather is not so extreme. There are practically no winds in Siberia, so the temperature -40° C (-40° F) is quite bearable.
The climate of the European part of Russia (where Moscow and Saint Petersburg are located), is considerably milder. The Black Sea and The Baltic Sea which are not far influence the climate a lot. Sometimes the winter may be quite cold. When arctic winds bring in the coldness, the temperature falls to -30°C (-22°F) and stays as such for a few days. Nevertheless, usually the temperature in January is about -11°C (12°F). The summer temperature is not too high - in July it is on average 21°C (71°F). In Fall and autumn the Russians usually see 10°C (50°F) on their thermometers. The climate in Saint Petersburg resembles that of Moscow, but is naturally cooler since St. Petersburg is situated farther north and close to the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea, by the way, smoothes the colder climate of the city. Thus, the average summer temperature rises to 17° C (63° F) and the winter temperature falls to -10° C (14° F). Spring and fall temperatures are 7°C (45°F) on the average. St. Petersburgh is humid, and it can be explained - it was built on the marshes. In this aspect it resembles London. The annual precipitation is 634mm (25in) while in Moscow it is even higher – 690 mm (27 in). It rains in spring and in fall most of all. Sometimes it rains in summer and of course snows in winter. Farther south precipitation decreases. It does not rain much in the south of Russia where Samara, Volgograd, Rostov, Odessa, and other cities are located. The climate there is really nice and warm.
The climate in Ukraine is predominantly temperately continental with a Mediterranean patch in Crimea, which is situated on the coast of the Black Sea. Here Ukraine resembles France, and meteorologists even call the capital of Ukraine Kiev “the Ukrainian Paris”. The precipitation in Kiev is about 615 mm. (24.2 in.) per year. It rains usually in late fall. In the south of Ukraine it rains little - 300 mm (12 inches). Fall is also a rainy season for Southern Ukraine. Kiev experiences 20° C (68° F) in summer and -6° C (21° F) in winter. The weather is usually stabile.
The countries situated in the northwest, including the Baltic States, have practically the same climate. It is cool but mild which happens because if the Baltic Sea which is close by. Vilnus’s (Lithuania), Riga (Latvia), Talinn (Estonia), and Minsk (Belarus) all share the temperature average of approximately -5oC (23oF) in winter and 17oC (63oF) in summer.