Climate in Russia

Rus Education

Climate in Russia

The Geography of Russia

Russia is known to be the largest country in the world possessing 1/8th of the entire world’s land area. The other thing the Russian geography is known for is its arid and stormy cold desert of Siberia which is located on the eastern side of the region of Russia east of the Ural Mountains.


Besides the Ural Mountains, Russia has several other highland areas. In particular, the Caucasus Mountain range, which forms the border between Russia and Southwest Asia, and the volcanic highlands of the Kamchatka Peninsula in far eastern Russia. There are generally more mountains in the west half of Russia than the east, which mainly consists of low-elevation plains.

Russia’s land area is relatively large, but much of the country is too cold for agriculture. Northern Russia is dominated by tundra, a biome characterized by cold temperatures and limited tree growth. Temperatures can get as low as -50°C (-58°F) here and much of the land is permafrost, which is consistently colder than the freezing point of water (0°C or 32°F). To the south of the tundra lies the taiga region, which is characterized by coniferous, snow-capped forests. There are large forests in this region of Russia, but logging has limited their availability. The taiga region is surrounded by temperate broadleaf forests, a steppe, and a grassy plain without any trees.

Why is it so cold in Russia?

Russia’s cities are located west of the Ural Mountains and south of the Arctic Circle, where the climate is more temperate. The region is home to over 80% of the country’s population. Despite the high summer temperatures in Moscow, the winters are chilly. As the northern coasts lack mountains, arctic winds can penetrate deeply into the interior. 

It runs almost north-south between the 62nd and 66th degrees of longitude and offers no protection from the Arctic’s cold air masses. It is still a subarctic climate in the regions further east and south near Irkutsk, close to Mongolia, with winter temperatures as low as -30 degrees. But at the same time, the city is on the 52nd degree of longitude and at the same altitude as Central Europe.

Average Climate

There are a number of key factors that influence the climate of Russia. The country is located very far north in terms of its latitudinal position, meaning its position relative to the equator. Generally speaking, the climate gets colder as you get farther from the equator. There is a strong east-west alignment among Russia’s major biomes as a result of this latitudinal influence. 

The position of Russia on the continent also affects its climate. Climates that exhibit a continental climate tend to be near the centre of a continent away from water bodies and are characterized by more extreme temperatures due to drier air. Water regulates air temperature and absorbs temperature changes better than land. The winter can be very cold in areas away from the water, while the summer is very hot and there is little precipitation. Altitude is a third important factor affecting the climate of Russia. 

A map of Russia’s biomes shows the Ural Mountains as an alpine tundra region because of their high elevations.

Weather Conditions

The most important thing about Russian weather is this: it really depends on the region. Most of Russia lies in a moderate climate zone and is quite a comfortable place to live in. According to the Russian Weather Service 1, the climate in Russia is becoming warmer, so the famous Russian frosts are now a rarity.

Here are some of the cities of Russia and their weather conditions:

City/Avg. Monthly Temperature 










St. Petersburg





Nizhny Novgorod




















Unlike many Western countries, central heating is on in all houses and public buildings during the winter season. Heaters also work in public transport during the winter months. When you are in your dormitory room, in a classroom, on the bus, in a cafe, museum or any other public place, you won’t be likely to get cold. 

However, we suggest taking your winter and autumn clothing seriously. Resisting the Russian frost is not about fearing the cold, rather about dressing warmly. In autumn you can do it with a light coat or a raincoat, but in winter you will need a warm coat and boots, a cap and definitely gloves. According to statistics 2, the biggest international student populations are in the Central (43.6%), North-Western (17%), Siberian (14.4%), Volga (10.5%) and Southern (8.4%) Federal Districts.

Advised Clothing For The Students Travelling To Russia

It differs depending on which part of the country you want to visit. You will always need heavy clothing in the winter, no matter where you go. Summer clothing should be light to medium-weight and waterproof. It is important to be prepared for extreme weather conditions in northern and northeastern Siberia during the winter; those parts of the country have the lowest temperatures in the world, except for Antarctica.