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Climate - Moscow

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go

See also the US version (°F - inches - feet)

Flag - European Russia

Moscow, where it is
In Moscow, capital of Russia, the climate is continental, with long and cold winters, and mild summers, in which, however, there can be hot days.
Here are the average temperatures.
Moscow average temperatures
Moscow J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°C) -12 -11 -6 2 8 12 14 12 7 2 -3 -9
Max (°C) -6 -4 2 10 18 22 23 22 15 8 1 -4

Precipitation is not abundant, but it's well distributed throughout the year. In a year, 690 millimetres of rain fall, which in the long winter months becomes almost always snow, while in summer it can occur in the form of thunderstorms. The first snowfalls usually occur in October, but occasionally they can occur even in late September. Snow can fall quite easily even in April, but the temperature can drop below freezing still in early May. The winter snowfalls are generally not abundant, also because of the cold, but they are frequent: a gray weather, with a light and persistent snow, is typical of the Russian capital.
Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation - Moscow
Moscow J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (mm) 40 35 35 45 50 75 95 75 65 60 60 55 690
Days 11 8 8 9 8 11 12 10 11 10 12 12 122

The rainiest months are July and August, mainly because of afternoon thunderstorms, which can sometimes be accompanied by strong winds.

Winter is cold: the temperature is usually below freezing for several months. There is an average of 175 days of frost (ie, with minimum temperatures below freezing) per year. However, the average temperature is the result of very different situations: when winds blow from Siberia the temperature easily drops to -25 °C, and in the worst times to -40 °C, but when the currents from the Atlantic Ocean arrive here, it can stay around freezing, or even slightly above, even in winter.

Typically the thaw occurs in late March or early April. From the second half of April, the Russian capital can be reached by the first gusts of warm wind from the southeast.

Summer, from June to August, is mild or pleasantly warm: the average summer temperature in Moscow is similar to that of cities like Paris or Berlin, but there are significant changes, so that there are hot and sultry days, in which the temperature can reach 35 °C, and also rainy and cool days, with highs around 15/16 °C. Typically, the periods of hot weather last a few days, and may be interrupted by thunderstorms or wind storms, although in the terrible summer of 2010 the heat lasted two months.

Moscow, Red Square

When to go

The best time to visit Moscow runs from late May to early September: the temperatures are usually pleasant, and the days long (especially from early June to July the 10th, when it doesn't get completely dark even at midnight). However, this period is not always stable: sometimes it rains and it's cool (and even a little cold at night), sometimes it's hot. There can also be afternoon thunderstorms.

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