In shaping climate zones of Russia, its geographic location in temperate and high latitudes, its enormous length in the latitudinal direction (about 170 °) and its orientation to the Arctic basin, which as a result of cyclonic activity contributes to the continent’s deep penetration throughout the year, are of decisive importance. In the west, it is experiencing the influence of the Atlantic, and in the east – the Pacific. The influence on the climate of the continent of Eurasia is great, which is expressed in the high frequency of anticyclonic weather and in the intensive transformation of the flowing air masses. The mode of atmospheric circulation determines the distribution of clouds, precipitation, snow cover, wind direction and speed.
Temporary warming and cooling are associated with the transfer of warm and cold air masses. In winter, the European part of Russia and the north of Western Siberia are affected to a greater degree by cyclones. Cyclones are also frequent over the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan. Anticyclones dominate the rest of Russia in the winter. In summer, cyclonic activity is most developed in the west of the European part of Russia, in the north of the Asian part climate zones of Russia and in the Far East. There are large seasonal differences in the length of the daytime part of the day and the height of the sun above the horizon in Russia.
The radiation balance for the year is positive and in the warm season is the main factor in heating and cooling the air and in regulating the evaporation of moisture from the surface. In June, on the coast of the Arctic Ocean, it is 250 MJ / m2 in southern Russia – 330 MJ / m2. In January, the radiation balance is negative everywhere.
In mountainous areas, climatic conditions differ significantly from the climate of the plains. The climatic features of the mountainous countries are determined by the height above sea level, the exposure and the steepness of the slopes, the shape of the relief, etc. Four climatic zones of Russia are formed on the territory: arctic, subarctic, temperate and subtropical. Within each belt climatic regions stand out. The most important feature of the climate of the arctic and subarctic belts are periods with a non-setting sun in summer and the absence of it in winter, which causes a large contrast of solar radiation between summer and winter. The character of the underlying surface also plays an important role: the oceanic part of the Arctic and Subarctic in summer is much colder than the mainland, in winter it is warmer. Oceanic heat penetrating the ice weakens the cooling effect of terrestrial radiation.
The predominance of arctic air masses during the year is characteristic of the arctic belt. In the Arctic zone, four climatic regions are distinguished. The greatest differences in climate indicators over the territory are manifested mainly in winter. In summer, the melting of large masses of ice in the seas of the Arctic Ocean and mostly cloudy weather create a monotonous air temperature regime.
1. Intraarctic climate zones of Russia. Here the influence of the continents surrounding the Arctic, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is the least affected. The underlying surface is represented by a multi-year ice sheet and, with the exception of the extreme southern regions, changes little throughout the year. The boundary of this climatic region corresponds to the period of the greatest distribution of permanent ice cover and may shift in some years. In winter, air masses of arctic origin generally circulate. Reigns continuous stratus clouds. Precipitation is low intensity. The air temperature varies from west to east from –30 to –34 ° C. In summer, radiation heat is consumed to melt ice. During the summer melts 50 – 60 cm of ice. The air temperature above the thermally homogeneous surface (melting ice) is close to zero. Mostly cloudy sky. Precipitations are insignificant and fall in the form of snow and drizzling rain. Possible strong winds, blizzards, frequent fogs.
2. Atlantic climate zones of Russia. In winter, the region is influenced by the Atlantic, westerly and southwesterly winds prevail, which determines a warmer winter compared to other areas of the Arctic. The air temperature in January varies from west to east from –6 … –8 ° С in the Barents Sea to –28 … –30 ° С in the east of the Kara Sea. The severity of weather conditions during the cold period depends on the wind speed. When southern winds marked strong snowstorms. The height of snow cover on the mainland reaches 40 cm. In the summer, with a long day, an increase in the frequency of the overcast sky reduces the possible amounts of radiation. July temperature varies from 2 … 4 ° С in oceanic regions of the region to 8 … 10 ° С on the mainland. Annual precipitation is 300–400 mm.
3. Siberian climate zones of Russia. In the period of the polar night, under conditions of high repeatability of the clear sky, intense cooling of air above the surface is observed. Low air temperatures also determine the removal of very cold air masses of continental origin from Yakutia and the Central Siberian Plateau. January temperature over the seas is from –30 to –32 ° С, and on the coast to –36 … –38 ° С In the summer, the overcast sky dominates over the seas and the coast. Cloudy weather and the prevalence of northern winds lead to a cool summer. Above the seas, the air temperature in July varies from 0 to 2 ° C, on the coast – from 2 to 8 ° C. Annual precipitation is from 200 to 300 mm.
4. Pacific climate zones of Russia. The region is under the influence of anticyclones of the eastern coldest part of the central Arctic and Aleutian cyclones. Often there is a flow of the coldest and driest air for a given territory from the interior regions of Siberia. The average January temperature over the Chukchi Sea varies from –20 to –26 ° С The wind gives a strong severity to the climate. Blizzards are frequent. In the summer cloudiness increases. Fogs are frequent, especially in the south of the Chukchi Sea. Radiation heat is spent mainly on ice melting and evaporation. The air temperature in July over the sea area varies from north to south from 0 to 6 ° С, and on the coast from 6 to 8 ° С. The annual precipitation due to the penetration of Aleutian cyclones here from 250 mm in the north to 300–400 mm in the south of the Chukchi Sea.
In the subarctic zone there are three climatic regions. There is a seasonal change of arctic and temperate air masses.
5. Atlantic climate zones of Russia. The climate is influenced by cyclonic activity throughout the year. Winter is relatively warm. With southerly and southwesterly winds, the air of temperate latitudes is carried out. Relatively warm air dominates the western mainland regions. To the east, the influence of the colder continental air of the Asian part of Russia is increasing. January temperature varies from west to east from –4 … –6 ° С to –26 … –28 ° С. Strong winds and snowstorms make the climate more severe. In the summer, with the north and north-west winds, arctic air spreads, the coldest in the eastern part of the region. Cold air masses delay the snow in spring and increase in heat. In the continental part of the region, the air temperature in July varies from north to south from 4 to 13 ° C. Above the Kara Sea, the air temperature increases in this direction from 2 to 6 ° С, above the Barents Sea from 4 to 10 ° С. As in winter, in the west it is warmer in the west than in the east. Annual precipitation is 500–600 mm. Fog is frequent, especially on the coast.
6. Siberian climate zones of Russia. The climate is characterized by a large continental. Throughout the year, the underlying surface plays a significant role in climate formation. In winter, the southwesterly winds prevail, carrying cold continental winds from the interior regions of Asia. The lowering of the air temperature is also influenced by the relief, in closed forms of which additional radiation cooling of cold air occurs (absolute minimum –65 ° C). At the latitude of the Arctic Circle in Eastern Siberia, the average January temperature is -40 … -45 ° C. Snow cover in winter is formed mainly in the first half of the cold period, when cyclones most often pass. The height of snow cover on the windward slopes of the Central Siberian Plateau reaches 80 cm, in the north-east it is only 30–40 cm, which does not protect the soil from freezing. Cyclonic activity intensifies in the summer. Due to the frequent northerly winds and overcast weather, the summer in this area is not very warm. The average July temperature varies from 10 to 14 ° C. Transformation of the arctic air causes dryness. The annual precipitation is small – 400–500 mm, decreasing in river valleys to 300 mm; on the windward slopes of the elevations increases to 800–1000 mm.
7. Pacific climate zones of Russia. The average January temperature varies from –14 … –16 ° С on the eastern coast of the Chukotka Peninsula to –26 ° С in inland areas. In winter, more precipitation falls on the windward eastern slopes. Depending on the redistribution caused by wind and relief, the height of snow cover can vary from 30 to 100 cm. Anticyclogenesis that develops over the Pacific Ocean and cyclogenesis in the north of the Bering Sea are of great importance in summer climate formation. Southern winds predominate. Great wind speed. The air temperature in July on the coast is 6 … 8 ° С, in the inland regions 10 … 12 ° С. Frequent advection of arctic air causes a short growing season. The annual precipitation varies over the territory of the region from 400 to 600 mm.
In the temperate zone air masses of temperate latitudes prevail. There is a gradual increase in the dryness of the climate from north to south due to the increase in heat and a decrease in the amount of precipitation. In addition, depending on the characteristics of atmospheric circulation and remoteness from the oceans, significant climatic changes occur from west to east. In the temperate zone, 11 climatic regions are distinguished.
8. Atlantic-arctic climate zones of Russia. The climate is formed under the influence of the Arctic and predominantly Atlantic air of temperate latitudes. In winter, southwesterly and southerly winds predominate, with which the Atlantic air flows in, as well as the continental air of the southern regions of the European part of Russia. The eastern regions of the region are influenced by arctic air from the colder central and eastern regions of the Arctic. The average air temperature in January varies from southwest to northeast from –10 to –20 ° С. With the exception of Karelia and the White Sea coast, the temperature may drop to –50 ° С. The height of the snow cover also varies from southwest to northeast from 50 to 70–80 cm. In all months of the cold period, thaws are possible throughout the territory. In the summer, northern winds dominate, carrying arctic air, which is transformed here into continental. Summer is humid, cloudy, in the south – warm (in July 15 ° С), in the north – cool (10 ° С). The duration of the frost-free period decreases from southwest to northeast from 120 to 90 days. East of 45 ° c. e. frost possible throughout the summer. The annual precipitation varies little over the territory (600–700 mm). In the foothills of the Urals, the amount of precipitation increases to 800–1000 mm. More precipitation falls than evaporates in these thermal conditions. Conditions are created for excessive wetting of the surface.
9. Atlantic-continental European (forest) climate zones of Russia. The climate is determined by the influence of the Atlantic air and its subsequent transformation into the continental one. Climatic conditions vary considerably from west to east during the warm and cold seasons. In the cold season, the prevailing wind direction is south and south-west, which causes a high frequency of warm and humid Atlantic masses. Cold continental air from the inland regions of the continent often spreads to the eastern regions with southern streams, and the frequency of arctic incursions increases. In the same direction, the severity of climate increases in the cold period. January temperature drops from southwest to northeast from –8 to –17 ° С. A decrease in the number of days with thaws and lower average daily air temperatures lead to the formation of snow cover in the north-east to 50–60 cm. In the west, the snow cover is 25–30 cm. In the summer, differences in thermal regime between the western and eastern regions remain. In the west of the region (up to 40–45 ° E), westerly and northwesterly winds predominate, with which relatively cold and humid Atlantic air spreads. In the east of the region dominated by warm continental air. In the summer, in the eastern regions, the role of arctic invasions increases. As a result of cold air advection even in June frosts are possible throughout the territory. July and August are practically free from frost. July temperature in the west is 17 … 18 ° С, in the east it is 19 … 20 ° С. In the east, droughts are possible as a result of a decrease in precipitation and an increase in the role of dry continental air from the east and southeast. Annual precipitation varies from 700 mm in the west to 600–650 mm in the east. On the windward slopes of the hills, precipitation increases to 700–800 mm.
10. Continental West Siberian Northern and Central climate zones of Russia. The climate is influenced by intense cyclonic activity throughout the year. In the south of Western Siberia, the influence of anticyclones is great in winter. In the cold period, southwesterly winds prevail. Significant fluctuations in the circulation mode and the change in the direction of transfer of air masses cause a large change in air temperature from day to day. The winter is moderately severe, snowy. January temperature varies from southwest to northeast from –20 … –21 ° С to –29 ° С. The height of snow cover increases in the northeast direction from 40 to 80–90 cm. Summer is moderately warm. July temperature from south to north varies from 18 to 14 ° C. In the west of the region it is slightly higher than in the east. Frosts are possible throughout the summer. Annual precipitation amounts to 600 mm over most of the area. The region is characterized by excessive moisture and is the most wetted part of the territory of Russia. Here there is a large accumulation of surface water, significant water logging.
11. Continental East Siberian climate zones of Russia. Climate continentality is pronounced, which is manifested in exceptionally large seasonal differences in air temperature, low cloudiness, and small precipitations on a flat territory. Winters are cold and dry. The anticyclonic mode predominates. Continental air in conditions of cloudy weather and weak wind is strongly cooled and in the lower layers becomes colder than the Arctic. January temperature varies from – 26 ° С in the southwest to – 38 … – 42 ° С in the Central Yakutsk plain. In valleys and basins, it can drop to – 60 ° C. The growth of snow cover is noted mainly at the beginning of the cold period, when cyclones often enter this area. In a complex terrain, uneven distribution of snow cover is observed. On the windward slopes of the Central Siberian Plateau, its height is 80 cm. In the Central Yakut Plain and in the Baikal Region it is 40–50 cm, and in Transbaikalia it is less than 20 cm. The summer is warm. The transformation of cold air coming from the Arctic seas and from the Sea of Okhotsk causes a high background air temperature for these latitudes. July temperature varies from north to south from 14 ° to 18 ° C. In summer, the frequency of cyclones increases. There are outcrops of southern cyclones, which are associated with significant precipitation. The complex relief of the region and the features of atmospheric circulation cause heterogeneity in the distribution of precipitation, the zonality in their distribution is disturbed. The most favorable conditions for moistening are formed on the Central Siberian Plateau, where precipitation ranges from 600 to 1000 mm. To the east, in the territory of Central Yakutia, a decrease in annual precipitation to 200–250 mm leads to an increase in aridity. Steppe-like landscapes appear here at a latitude of about 60 °. In Transbaikalia, aridity increases from north to south due to an increase in heat and a decrease in precipitation to 300–400 mm. The most severe aridity in Transbaikalia is manifested in river valleys, in intermontane basins and on the southern slopes.
12. Monsoon Far Eastern climate zones of Russia. Seasonal change of oceanic and continental climate is expressed most clearly. Winter is cold and snowless, summer is moderately warm and rainy. In winter, northwest winds prevail, carrying continental East Siberian air. This causes low air temperature, especially in the inland regions of the region. January temperature in the lower reaches of the Amur is –30 ° C, and in the southern regions of the Far East (at the latitude of the Crimea) to –20 ° C. Winter on Sakhalin is less severe than on the mainland. In the north of the Amur region, Sakhalin, where the anticyclonic weather in winter is often replaced by cyclonic, the height of the snow cover in winter often reaches 50–60 cm. In the summer, southeastern winds prevail, with which the Pacific air spreads to the continent. In the humidification of the Far East, the role of southern cyclones is significant, with which considerable precipitation is associated, sometimes leading to flooding. In rare cases, the southern regions of the Far East fall within the scope of the typhoons passing near Japan. The influx of sea air to the mainland, overcast, large amounts of precipitation somewhat reduce the air temperature. July temperature on the coast is 14 … 16 ° С, in inland areas – 18 … 20 ° С. Precipitations of the warm period reach 500 mm on the plains and 800–1000 mm in the mountains, which is 80% of the annual amount. Everywhere, to a greater or lesser extent, there is an excess of moisture.
13. Pacific climate zones of Russia. In the cold period, the climate is formed mainly under the influence of cyclonic activity on the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea. The Sea of Okhotsk and its northwestern coast are in the zone of alternating influence of Asian anticyclones and cyclones moving over the seas, which leads to the alternation of the effects of continental and oceanic air masses. Cold winter. January temperature varies within the continent from west to east from –30 … –32 ° С to –20 … –22 ° С on the coast. In Kamchatka, intense cyclonic activity during the cold period causes a large amount of precipitation to fall, especially in the east and southeast. The height of snow cover in the north-east and in the interior of Kamchatka reaches 80–100 cm, in the southern part of the eastern coast – 150 cm. The eastern regions of Kamchatka are not only more humid, but also warmer. January temperature varies from southeast to northwest from –8 to –26 … –28 ° С. Summer is cool and humid, especially in Kamchatka, where cyclonic activity develops during the warm period. July temperature rises with distance from the coast into the mainland from 10 … 12 ° C to 15 ° C. The monsoon climate is expressed mainly on the Sea of Okhotsk and its coast. Here, weather conditions in the warm period are determined by the position and development of the Okhotsk sea anticyclones. July temperature varies from 12 … 14 ° С on the west coast of the sea to 8 … 10 ° С on the east coast. In the warm season mists are frequent. The annual precipitation in Kamchatka decreases from the south-east to the north-west from 1500–2000 to 300–400 mm. On the western coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, the annual precipitation is 500–600 mm. Excessive moisture conditions are formed.
14. Atlantic-continental European (steppe) climate zones of Russia. The climate is characterized by a significant increase in aridity from west to east. In winter, the eastern regions of the region are to a large extent affected by the cold continental air of the Asian part of Russia. This contributes to the formation of a lower air temperature here than in the west of the region. Winter in the west due to the large influence of the Atlantic is milder, in the east cold, moderately severe. In January, in the south-west, the average air temperature is –3 … –4 ° С, in the northeast – –13 … –14 ° С. To the east, the thaw recurrence decreases. The height of snow cover in the east is about 20 cm, in the south-west of the region 10 cm or less. Possible descent of snow cover during the winter. During the cold period, strong winds are possible, which in areas free of snow can lead to dust storms. In the summer northwesterly winds prevail. At this time of year, the region is under the dominant influence of the continent. July temperature in the south-west is 22 … 23 ° С, in the northeast – 23 … 24 ° С. Frequent droughts. Very severe droughts, leading to a decrease in yield by 50% or more of the average, are observed 1-2 times per 10 years. This area is often influenced by dry winds. The annual precipitation varies from west to east from 600 to 500 mm. Conditions of insufficient moisture are formed.
15. Continental West Siberian Southern climate zones of Russia. The climate is characterized by aridity. In the cold period anticyclones dominate, and the processes of radiation cooling increase. The release of cyclones is accompanied by increased wind, blizzards, a sharp change in the weather. Southwesterly winds predominate. Winter is relatively cold, the average January temperature varies from –17 ° to –20 ° С. The height of the snow cover is small – 25–30 cm, soil freezing in the north reaches 130–150 cm, in the south of the region – 90–140 cm. In the warm season, compared with the cold period, the role of cold invasions from the Arctic increases. The transformation of cold air occurs quickly. Relative humidity is reduced. A small amount of precipitation and an increase in temperature lead to the formation of spring-summer droughts. The probability of dry years increases. But years of sufficient moisture are possible. Summer is warm. July temperature is 18 … 20 ° С. Often the relative humidity drops to 30% and below. When strong winds occur dust storms. Annual precipitation decreases from north to south from 500 to 350–400 mm.
16. Continental Eastern European climate zones of Russia. Cyclonic activity is weak. The frequent recurrence of anticyclonic weather in both cold and warm seasons contributes to the intensive transformation of the air masses coming here. The continental air is the dominant air mass. January temperature varies from –6 ° to –10 ° С. The severity of the cold period increases in the northeast, where often the average daily air temperature drops below –10 ° С, the absolute minimum reaches –50 ° С. Snowstorms are frequent, snow cover is small –10–20 cm. Summer is warm and dry. July temperature is 23 … 25 ° С. Precipitation is rare and torrential. Greater repeatability of days with droughts and dry winds. Under certain conditions of circulation of air masses, the region can serve as a source of dry winds for the territories located to the north. The great dryness of the soil surface leads to the formation of dust storms. In some areas, the number of days with dust storms is 50–60 per year. Annual precipitation in the region is 300–400 mm. Here the lack of moisture is particularly significant.
17. Mountain region of the Greater Caucasus climate zones of Russia. The climate is formed under the action of circulation processes, developing in the south of the Russian Plain, and under the influence of altitudinal zonation. In connection with the western transfer of air masses, the Black Sea coast is characterized by mild winters. On the Caspian coast, which is influenced by continental air masses of Eastern European and Asian origin, winters are colder and drier. A feature of the extreme western part of the region is the winter maximum of precipitation typical of the Mediterranean subtropical climate type. On the Black Sea coast, precipitation is rapidly increasing to the south. The Caspian coast has less precipitation. In the mountains, as the height increases, the climate becomes cooler and more humid. In the whole region except the western part, summer precipitation prevails. Against the background of warm advection, hair dryers form on the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus (warm, dry wind). Advection of cold air from the north causes the formation of burs (strong cold wind) in the area of Novorossiysk. In winter, low clouds and frequent fogs prevail in the foothills. On the southwestern slopes of the mountains, the snow cover reaches a height of 3–4 m, in the east it decreases to 1 m. In the first half of summer, the frequency of Atlantic cyclones is great, with cold fronts of which are precipitation. In the second half of summer, the frequency of anticyclones increases, which contributes to the transformation of air masses and an increase in air temperature. In July, on the west coast and in the foothills, the air temperature is 22 … 23 ° С, in the east it is 24 … 25 ° С. June-August in the plain part are free from frost. At altitudes above 1500 m, lowering the air temperature to negative values is possible throughout the year. Rainfall in the summer have a storm character. Thunderstorms are frequent.
18. Mountain region of Altai and Sayan climate zones of Russia. The climate is formed under the action of processes developing over Western Siberia, and under the influence of altitudinal zonation. Cyclonic activity and the precipitation associated with it increase, the radiation balance is reduced compared with the adjacent plains. Continental air prevails throughout the year. In the cold period, the territory of the region is close to the center of the Asian anticyclone. Cyclonic activity is weak. The passage of cyclones causes relative warming and precipitation. The height of snow cover on the windward slopes of mountains, open areas is 40 cm, on leeward slopes and in dry valleys – 10–15 cm. The height of snow cover in the Sayan Mountains at altitudes of 1000–1600 m exceeds 100 cm, and in some places – up to 150–200 cm Air temperature depends on altitude and landforms. In the foothills of the Altai, the January temperature is –16 … –18 ° С. In the Minusinsk Basin to –34 ° С. In the mountains, a hair dryer is often observed with southern air currents. In the warm period, cyclonic activity increases. In the foothill zone of the Altai and Sayans, the average air temperature in July is 16 … 18 ° C, with a height it decreases, reaching at an altitude of 1800 m on the slopes and tops of mountains 8 ° C. In the intermountain basins summer is warm. The average July temperature is 19 … 20 ° С. In summer, frost is possible almost throughout the territory. In the foothills of the Altai and the Sayans, there is sufficient moisture. It increases with height due to increased precipitation, especially on the leeward slopes. The annual precipitation on the western and southwestern slopes is 1000–1300 mm. There is little precipitation in Minusinsk (450–500 mm) and Tuva hollows (250–350 mm), which leads to insufficient moisture.
In the subtropical zone, there is one climatic region that, in its indicators, relates to the climate of humid subtropics.
19. Black Sea climate zones of Russia. Winters are mild. In winter, intense cyclonic activity is characteristic. January air temperature is –4 … –5 ° С. To an absolute height of 500 m, the average monthly temperature in January is above 0 ° C. In the summer, the western air currents of the Azores anticyclone dominate here, with which the inflow of tropical air is possible. Air temperature in July is 22 … 23 ° С. This air temperature is accompanied by high relative humidity. Annual rainfall up to 1000 mm, characterized by a winter maximum. Differences between precipitation of warm and cold periods are small. Climatic zoning of Russia on the map is given according to the classification of B.P. Alisova. The basis of climatic zoning and differences between the selected climatic regions are the features of the radiation regime and atmospheric circulation (cyclonic activity and transfer of warm and cold air masses).