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Russia Guide > Climate of Russia

Climate of Russia

It’s easy to dismiss the Russian climate of one consisting solely of freezing temperatures. While it is true that much of the country suffers extreme cold during the winter months, this is such a vast nation that a diverse climate exists here overall.

In fact, much of Russia experiences both extremes of the thermometer with hot summers balancing out the extreme cold.

Continental climate

While Russia is a coastal country, its huge interior means that many towns and cities are several hundred miles or more from the sea. As such, the continental climate that dominates much of Europe and parts of Asia is particularly prevalent here.

A continental climate is one that isn’t influenced by the sea and it will therefore provide the mix of cold winters with sustained periods of snow. There is relatively little rainfall compared with other countries and the majority of rain is encountered during the summer months.

As far as temperatures are concerned, these will obviously differ from country to country but on average, they can peak at around 32 degrees centigrade in the summer and drop to around minus twelve degrees in the winter.

As anyone with a basic knowledge of the climate of Russia will know, this low temperature can be easily exceeded but as a very general rule, this is the type of weather that most of the country will experience.


Heading away from the east of Russia, the northern, coastal areas of the country, together with the whole of Siberia will endure a subarctic climate. As the name would tend to suggest, extreme cold can be experienced with typical low temperatures reaching minus forty degrees centigrade at times.

Summer can be warm to say the least with the mercury hitting thirty degrees on a regular basis but the summers are also shorter in a subarctic climate.

Taking it to the extreme

There are some distinct anomalies right across Russia and with the Siberian city of Yakustk, the country can boast the coldest city on earth and the only one to be built entirely on permafrost.

Situated just 280 miles south of the arctic circle, Yakustk is a prime example of just how unspeakably cold in can get in the depths of Siberia. In the city itself, the record low has been recorded at a body numbing figure of minus 64.4 degrees centigrade while just outside of Yakutsk, at the basin of the Yana river, the lowest temperature in the world, outside of Antarctica has been recorded.

A country of contrasts

The climate of Russia is not dissimilar to many other aspects of the country and it’s very much a land of extreme contrasts as far as the weather is concerned.

The advice if you’re travelling to Russia is therefore to check very carefully with regards to the area you are travelling to. While extreme temperatures can prevail in some regions, hot summers can also be enjoyed so you don’t want to be caught out by guessing at the weather you are likely to experience.

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