Climate of Moscow

Moscow has a humid continental climate  with warm, sometimes hot, somewhat humid summers and long, cold winters

Moscow in the summer (Central Russian Upland)
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Typical high temperatures in the warm months of June, July and August are around 23 °C (73 °F), but during heat waves, which can occur anytime from May to September, daytime temperature highs often top 30 °C (86 °F) for sometimes one or two weeks.

Humid continental climate worldwide
pinterest button Humid continental climate worldwide Maphobbyist, Public Domain

In the winter, temperatures normally drop to approximately −10 °C (14 °F), though there can be periods of warmth with temperatures rising above 0 °C (32 °F).

Summer lasts from mid-May to the beginning of September. Winter lasts from the beginning of November to the end of March.

Monthly averages and records for Moscow

The highest temperature ever recorded was 38.2 °C (100.8 °F) on July 29, and minimum temperature recorded was −42 °C (−44 °F). 2010 In 2007 three record highs for the month occurred – January + 8.6 °C (47.5 °F), March + 17.5 °C (63.5 °F), and May + 33.2 °C (91.8 °F); in 2008, there were new record highs for December and the entire winter: + 9.6 °C (49.3 °F). On July 23, 2010, the temperature reached 36.7 °C (98.1 °F) and continued to set record highs each following day until it finally reached + 38.2 °C (100.8 °F) on July 29, 2010. In November 2010 a new month record high of +14.5 °C (58.1 °F) occurred (after +12.6 in 1927).

Maximum temperature in Moscow and near regions during 2010 Northern Hemisphere summer heat wave
pinterest button Maximum temperature in Moscow and near regions during 2010 Northern Hemisphere summer heat wave Texmon, GNU 1.2

Average annual temperature in Moscow is 5.8 °C (42.4 °F), but recently (2007, 2008) it has been higher than 7 °C (45 °F). In the first half of the 20th century, there was light night frost in late summer.

Monthly rainfall totals vary minimally throughout the year, although the precipitation levels tend to be higher during the summer than during the winter. Due to the significant variation in temperature between the winter and summer months as well as the limited fluctuation in precipitation levels during the summer, Moscow is considered to be within a continental climate zone.

Most of records and averages are given for VVC weather station, located in the North-Eastern administrative okrug of Moscow. The temperature from this station averages 0.5–1 °C lower than in the city center, and 0.5–2 °C higher than night minimums in the suburbs.

Climate data for Moscow (period 2001—2011, Vnukovo airport)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)−4.8
(23.4)
−5.1
(22.8)
2.7
(36.9)
11.4
(52.5)
19.0
(66.2)
21.8
(71.2)
26.2
(79.2)
23.3
(73.9)
16.9
(62.4)
8.6
(47.5)
2.1
(35.8)
−3.4
(25.9)
9.89
(49.81)
Daily mean °C (°F)−6.4
(20.5)
−7.6
(18.3)
−0.8
(30.6)
6.8
(44.2)
13.7
(56.7)
16.9
(62.4)
21.0
(69.8)
18.4
(65.1)
12.6
(54.7)
6.0
(42.8)
0.5
(32.9)
−4.9
(23.2)
6.35
(43.43)
Average low °C (°F)−8.2
(17.2)
−10.1
(13.8)
−4.1
(24.6)
2.2
(36)
8.2
(46.8)
11.9
(53.4)
15.7
(60.3)
13.7
(56.7)
8.5
(47.3)
3.4
(38.1)
−0.9
(30.4)
−6.5
(20.3)
2.82
(37.07)
Mean monthly sunshine hours37651422132742993232421718933141,902
Source: www.weatheronline.co.uk

«www.weatheronline.co.uk». Retrieved 2011. 

Climate data for Moscow (VVC) normals 1981–2010, records 1879 – the present
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)8.6
(47.5)
8.3
(46.9)
19.7
(67.5)
28.9
(84)
33.2
(91.8)
34.9
(94.8)
38.2
(100.8)
37.3
(99.1)
32.3
(90.1)
24.0
(75.2)
16.2
(61.2)
9.6
(49.3)
38.2
(100.8)
Average high °C (°F)−4
(25)
−3.7
(25.3)
2.6
(36.7)
11.3
(52.3)
18.6
(65.5)
22.0
(71.6)
24.3
(75.7)
21.9
(71.4)
15.7
(60.3)
8.7
(47.7)
0.9
(33.6)
−3
(27)
9.6
(49.3)
Daily mean °C (°F)−6.5
(20.3)
−6.7
(19.9)
−1
(30)
6.7
(44.1)
13.2
(55.8)
17.0
(62.6)
19.2
(66.6)
17.0
(62.6)
11.3
(52.3)
5.6
(42.1)
−1.2
(29.8)
−5.2
(22.6)
5.8
(42.4)
Average low °C (°F)−9.1
(15.6)
−9.8
(14.4)
−4.4
(24.1)
2.2
(36)
7.7
(45.9)
12.1
(53.8)
14.4
(57.9)
12.5
(54.5)
7.4
(45.3)
2.7
(36.9)
−3.3
(26.1)
−7.6
(18.3)
2.1
(35.8)
Record low °C (°F)−42.2
(−44)
−38.2
(−36.8)
−32.4
(−26.3)
−21
(−6)
−7.5
(18.5)
−2.3
(27.9)
1.3
(34.3)
−1.2
(29.8)
−8.5
(16.7)
−16.1
(3)
−32.8
(−27)
−38.8
(−37.8)
−42.2
(−44)
Precipitation mm (inches)52
(2.05)
41
(1.61)
35
(1.38)
37
(1.46)
49
(1.93)
80
(3.15)
85
(3.35)
82
(3.23)
68
(2.68)
71
(2.8)
55
(2.17)
52
(2.05)
707
(27.86)
Snowfall cm (inches)22
(8.7)
34
(13.4)
37
(14.6)
16
(6.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
4
(1.6)
8
(3.1)
15
(5.9)
136
(53.6)
Avg. rainy days0.80.73913141515151262105.5
Avg. snowy days1815910.10000.12101772.2
 % humidity83807467647074778181848576.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours33721281702652792712381477832181,731
Percent possible sunshine1427354053535251382413834
Source:
Climate data for Moscow (VVC) normals 1961–1990, records 1879–the present
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)8.6
(47.5)
8.3
(46.9)
19.7
(67.5)
28.6
(83.5)
33.2
(91.8)
34.9
(94.8)
38.2
(100.8)
37.3
(99.1)
32.3
(90.1)
24.0
(75.2)
14.5
(58.1)
9.6
(49.3)
38.2
(100.8)
Average high °C (°F)−6.3
(20.7)
−4.2
(24.4)
1.5
(34.7)
10.4
(50.7)
18.4
(65.1)
21.7
(71.1)
23.1
(73.6)
21.5
(70.7)
15.4
(59.7)
8.2
(46.8)
1.1
(34)
−3.5
(25.7)
8.9
(48)
Daily mean °C (°F)−9.3
(15.3)
−7.7
(18.1)
−2.2
(28)
5.8
(42.4)
13.1
(55.6)
16.6
(61.9)
18.2
(64.8)
16.4
(61.5)
11.1
(52)
5.1
(41.2)
−1.2
(29.8)
−6.1
(21)
5.0
(41)
Average low °C (°F)−12.3
(9.9)
−11.1
(12)
−5.6
(21.9)
1.7
(35.1)
7.6
(45.7)
11.5
(52.7)
13.5
(56.3)
12.0
(53.6)
7.1
(44.8)
2.1
(35.8)
−3.3
(26.1)
−8.6
(16.5)
1.2
(34.2)
Record low °C (°F)−42.2
(−44)
−38.2
(−36.8)
−32.4
(−26.3)
−21
(−6)
−7.5
(18.5)
−2.3
(27.9)
1.3
(34.3)
−1.2
(29.8)
−8.5
(16.7)
−16.1
(3)
−32.8
(−27)
−38.8
(−37.8)
−42.2
(−44)
Precipitation mm (inches)52
(2.05)
41
(1.61)
35
(1.38)
37
(1.46)
51
(2.01)
80
(3.15)
85
(3.35)
82
(3.23)
68
(2.68)
71
(2.8)
54
(2.13)
51
(2.01)
713
(28.07)
Avg. rainy days0.80.73913141515151262105.5
Avg. snowy days1815910.10000.12101772.2
 % humidity83807467647074778181848577
Mean monthly sunshine hours33721281702652792712381477832181,731
Source:
Climate data for Moscow, records since 1948 (VVC weather st. only)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)8.6
(47.5)
8.3
(46.9)
19.7
(67.5)
28.9
(84)
33.2
(91.8)
33.9
(93)
38.2
(100.8)
37.3
(99.1)
29.4
(84.9)
23.7
(74.7)
14.5
(58.1)
9.6
(49.3)
38.2
(100.8)
Record low °C (°F)−38.1
(−36.6)
−35.2
(−31.4)
−27.9
(−18.2)
−18.8
(−1.8)
−5.0
(23)
0.8
(33.4)
5.1
(41.2)
2.1
(35.8)
−5.2
(22.6)
−16.1
(3)
−23.3
(−9.9)
−38.0
(−36.4)
−38.1
(−36.6)
Source:

Type of precipitation

Most precipitation in Moscow falls as rain, but in winter months almost all precipitation falls as snow, forming firm snow cover.

Annual course of temperature at All-Russia Exhibition Centre
pinterest button Annual course of temperature at All-Russia Exhibition Centre Texmon, GNU 1.2

The last wet snow precipitation may be in the beginning of May, and it may restart at the end of September.

Type of precipitationJan (days)Feb (days)Mar (days)Apr (days)May (days)Jun (days)Jul (days)Aug (days)Sep (days)Oct (days)Nov (days)Dec (days)year (days)
snow2016111000003101879
mixed54651000148741
rain1131012141414151262103

Snow cover

Snow cover (averaging 3–5 months per year) is formed at the beginning of November and melts in beginning of April, but in recent years snow cover has lasted shorter than usual.

For example, in the winter of 2006–2007 the snow cover didn't form until the end of January, and melted at the beginning of March; in 2007–2008, the snow cover melted at the end of February, and in the 2008–2009 winter, snow cover didn't form until the end of December, which is one month later than usual. Yet in 2011—2012 it melted in the middle of April.

monthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
number of days312828431628
height (cm)2635292313
max.height (cm)63727861192545

Wind

Speed of wind

The average wind speed is not high. In the city it is near 2 metres per second; in open places and airports it may top 6 metres per second.

Wind Storms and Tornadoes

A few times per season, often in the May–September period during thunderstorms, wind speed may exceed 15–35 metres per second. The last powerful wind storm was in 1998, when wind speed was 30–35 metres per second. 157 persons were injured, 8 died, and 2157 buildings were damaged.

Tornadoes were recorded in 1904 and 1945 in Moscow and in 1970, 1971, the 1984 Yaroslavl tornado, 1987, 1994, and 1997 in Moscow Oblast 100 km south-east from Moscow (near Zaraysk), in 2005 in Dubna, and on 3 August 2007 in Krasnogorsk.

In the 3 June 2009 tornado, F3 registered near Sergiyev Posad, Moscow oblast.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecyear
2.52.52.52.52.22.11.91.82.02.42.52.62.3

Сloudiness and day light

Number of clear, cloudy and overcast days

On average Moscow has 1731 hours of sunshine in a year. In 2004–2008, near 1800–2000 hours.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecyear
Clear (sunshine)89108117810853482
Partial sunshine11101317162020171613910184
Cloudy (overcast)129954344612181798

Daylight, average number of hours/day

HoursJan (hours)Feb (hours)Mar (hours)Apr (hours)May (hours)Jun (hours)Jul (hours)Aug (hours)Sep (hours)Oct (hours)Nov (hours)Dec (hours)
Day7.99.711.914.316.317.416.814.912.710.58.47.2
Night16.114.312.19.77.76.67.29.111.313.515.616.8