Moscow, where it is

In Moscow, capital of Russia, the climate is continental, with long and freezing winters, and mild or moderately warm summers, in which, however, there can be hot days.
Here are the average temperatures.
Moscow - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)-9-10-42812141273-3-8
Max (°C)-4-4311192224221691-3
Min (°F)161425364654575445372718
Max (°F)252537526672757261483427

Precipitation is not very abundant, given that it amounts to 690 millimetres (27 inches) per year, but it's well distributed over the seasons; in the long winter months it almost always occurs as snow, while in summer it can occur in the form of thunderstorms. The first snowfalls usually occur in October, but occasionally they can occur also in late September. Snow can fall quite easily also in April, but the temperature can drop below freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) 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.
Moscow - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)403535455075957565606055690
Prec.(in)1.61.41.41.8233.732.62.42.42.227.2
Days11889811121011101212122

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

Winter is cold: the temperature is usually below freezing for several months. There is an average of 175 frost days (ie, with minimum temperatures below freezing) per year. However, the average temperature is the result of very different situations: when the wind blows from Siberia, the temperature easily drops to -25 °C (-13 °F), and in the worst cases to -40 °C (-40 °F), but when the currents from the Atlantic Ocean arrive here, it can stay around freezing, or even slightly above, even in midwinter.

Typically the thaw occurs in late March or early April. From the second half of April, the Russian capital can be reached by the 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 (95 °F), and also rainy and cool days, with highs around 15/16 °C (59/61 °F). 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.

As happens in big cities, in Moscow there is an urban heat island, in which temperatures are higher, typically by one or two degrees Celsius, compared with the surrounding countryside, especially at night and in winter.

Moscow, Red Square

The sun in Moscow is rarely seen from November to February, while from May to August it shines for about half the time (the days are very long, so the total sunshine is not low).
Moscow - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours134699985311

When to go


The best time to visit Moscow runs from late May to early September: temperatures are usually pleasant, and the days are long (especially from early June to 10 July, 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.