Index


Introduction



In Belarus, the climate is continental, with cold winters and relatively warm summers, and two short intermediate seasons. The degree of continentality increases from northwest to southeast, that is, as you move away from the sea and enter the great plains of Eastern Europe.
However, the country is exposed to different air masses, Russian or Arctic, Atlantic or Mediterranean, so it can experience sudden changes in temperature and weather.

Winter in Belarus is cold, with temperatures normally below freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) even during the day for a few months. The western cities (see Brest, Hrodna) are less cold, and have an average temperature in January about -3 °C (27 °F), while proceeding towards the east, the average reaches -4.5 °C (24 °F) in Minsk and -6 °C (21 °F) in the eastern areas.
In the eastern part of the country, snow covers the ground for about a month longer than in the western part (about four months instead of three).
The coldest periods are those in which the Siberian Anticyclone reaches the country, though it has happened more rarely in the last decades. During these periods, the temperature can drop to -30 °C (-22 °F), but in the worst winters of the past century (when the average temperatures were a few degrees lower than today, especially in winter), they could drop to as low as -40 °C (-40 °F). In Minsk, the temperature dropped to -33.5 °C (-28 °F) in February 1929, to -39 °C (-38 °F) in January 1940, to -35 °C (-31 °F) in January 1950, to -35 °C (-31 °F) in February 1956, to -30 °C (-22 °F) in January 1963, to -33 °C (-27.5 °F) in January 1970, to -30 °C (-22 °F) in December 1978, and to -32 °C (-25.5 °F) in February 2012.

In spring, the temperatures increase rapidly. The thaw occurs between March and April, which is also a difficult time for travelling because of the mud, at least outside of the cities and on unpaved roads. While in early April there may still be snow and frost, at the end of the month, the first warm days can occur, with temperatures above 25 °C (77 °F).

Summer in Belarus is quite warm, and unlike in winter, it tends to become progressively warmer as you move from the north to the south. The average maximum temperature in July is 23.5 °C (74.5 °F) in the northern cities (Polatsk, Vitebsk), 23.5/24 °C (74.5/75) in the central cities (Hrodna, Minsk, Mogilev), and 24.5/25 °C (76/77) in the southern cities (Brest, Pinsk, Gomel).
During summer, there are hot periods, with highs approaching 30 °C (86 °F), alternating with cooler periods, when cool and humid Atlantic currents prevail.
Despite some frontal systems of Atlantic origin, the amount of sunshine in this season is acceptable.

Autumn is a short season, during which the temperature decreases rapidly, and the weather quickly becomes cloudy, rainy and foggy. The first snowfalls usually occur in November, and sometimes even in October.

Minsk

Here are the average temperatures of Minsk, the capital city, located in the center of the country.
Minsk - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)-7-7-33812131384-1-6
Max (°C)-2-14121922242317103-1
Min (°F)191927374654555546393021
Max (°F)283039546672757363503730

Precipitation in Minsk amounts to around 700 millimeters (27.5 in) per annum, and it is evenly spread throughout the year, although it is more abundant in summer because of afternoon thunderstorms. Here is the average precipitation.
Minsk - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)403540406085907060505055675
Prec.(in)1,61,41,61,62,43,33,52,82,4222,226,6
Days109109911119991112119

The sun in Belarus is rarely seen from November to February, while from May to August, it shines for just over half the time (the days are very long, so the total amount of sunshine is not low).
Minsk - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours124689986311

Minsk

Best Time



The best time to visit Belarus is summer, from June to August. The days are very long, the temperatures are mild, and at times, even hot during the day, while nights remain cool. During hot and muggy days, some thunderstorms can develop, especially in the afternoon or in the evening.
The month of February will be preferable to visit the country in its winter appearance because it has longer days than December, even though it's still cold and snowy.

What to pack



In winter: bring very warm clothes, a fleece, a parka, a hat, gloves, a scarf, and warm boots.
In summer: bring light clothes, T-shirts and shorts, but also long pants, a jacket and a sweatshirt for the evening and for cool days, and a raincoat or umbrella.

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