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Climate - Moldova

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go, what to pack

United States version (°F - inches - feet). See also the metric version (°C - mm - meters)

Flag - Moldova

Moldova has a continental climate, with cold, snowy winters and hot summers. Since the prevailing currents come from the north or the west, the proximity of the Black Sea (which lies to the south-east) does not affect much the climate.
The Republic of Moldova is a small Romanian speaking country, and has been a Soviet republic until 1991.

The climate is fairly homogeneous throughout the country: the differences are small. Sometimes, however, it may happen that it can snow in the north and not in the south.
Here are the average temperatures of the capital Chisinau.
Chisinau average temperatures
Chisinau J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°F) 21 24 31 42 52 58 61 60 52 43 35 27
Max (°F) 32 35 45 60 71 77 79 79 72 60 46 37

Precipitation in Moldova is not abundant, since it amounts to about 20 inches per year. The season in which the days with precipitation are most frequent is winter, but given the low temperatures, they are not abundant, and occur mostly in the form of light snow. The rainiest months in terms of quantity are June and July, especially because of afternoon thunderstorms, but the rainy days are not more than in winter; in August, thunderstorms become less frequent.
Here is the average precipitation in Chisinau.
Average precipitation Chisinau
Chisinau J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (in) 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.7 2.0 3.0 2.7 1.8 1.8 1.1 1.6 1.5 21.5
Days 12 12 11 10 11 12 10 8 6 6 11 12 121

Winter in Moldova is cold, with average temperatures in January around 27 °F throughout the country. Sometimes the mild and moist air masses from the Mediterranean may raise the temperature above freezing and melt the snow, while the cold air masses of Arctic or Russian origin can lower the temperature by several degrees, down to around -22 °F in the worst moments.

Summer in Moldova is warm: in the two warmest months (July and August), the average minimum temperature is around 57/59 °F in the north and 59/61 °F in the center-south (so nights are usually pretty cool), while the maximum temperature is around 77/79 °F in the north, and 81/82 °F in the south. In the afternoon, some thunderstorms can develop, especially in June and July. The sunshine amount is good: there are about 9 hours of sunshine per day from May to August, which means that the sun often shines. As mentioned, the temperature is normally acceptable, but sometimes there can be heat waves, capable of raising the temperature to around 95 °F and above, usually for a few days. In the capital Chisinau, the highest recorded temperature is 102 °F.
Sometimes in the summer, floods can occur (as was the case of 2008 and 2010, in July), mostly because of the heavy rains that may occur in the Carpathian region and then swell the Dniester (or Nistru) River, which has its source in that mountain range, in Ukraine.

The two intermediate seasons, spring and autumn, are quite short but pleasant: in May and September, minimum and maximum temperatures are respectively around 53° and 72 °F. In March and April, the first mild or warm days alternate with returns of cold, with possible snowfalls, especially in March and early April. In autumn, the first cold days occur in November, and sometimes on late October.

When to go

Moldova can be visited preferably from May to September: usually, the temperatures are pleasant, with cool nights. In July and August, however, there may be hot periods, so if you do not like the heat, you can choose the months of May, June and September.

What to pack

In winter: warm clothes, sweater or fleece, down jacket, hat, gloves and scarf, raincoat or umbrella.
In summer: light clothes, t-shirt, but also long pants, light jacket and a sweater for the evening and cool days; raincoat or umbrella.

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