Climate of Saint-Petersburg
Climate and weather remain to be one of the most important tourist issues of Saint-Petersburg since to enjoy this magnificent city in full you should be properly prepared to the possible weather changes.
Climate of Russia on the whole
Russia is a vast country comprising a large part of eastern Europe and the whole of northern Asia. The traditional geographical division between Europe and Asia is the Ural mountains, which split the country from north to south in about longitude 60° E.
Temperatures in summer are quite warm, even during the short summers in northern and eastern Siberia. There is a rapid rise of temperature in spring, the season of the thaw (ottepel’), and an equally rapid fall of temperature in the autumn. There are two principal reasons for the cold of the Russian winter: the great size of the land mass of Europe and Asia, which means that the country is isolated from the moderating influence of warm ocean waters; and the high latitude of much of the country with a northern coastline on the Arctic Ocean, which remains frozen for most of the year. The period when rivers are completely frozen varies from 70 days a year in the west of the country to as much as 250 days in northern Siberia. It is a good general rule that the severity and length of winter increase eastwards. The only harbours that are normally ice free throughout the year are those on the Black Sea coast and around Murmansk and Archangel, where the influence of the Gulf Stream from the Atlantic raises sea temperatures.
Climate of the European Russia, North and Central
Including Moscow and St Petersburg
This huge region extends west to east from the western border of Russia as far as the Ural mountains and north to south from the Arctic coast as far as northeastern Ukraine. The land is mostly below 300 m/1,000 ft and is level or gently rolling country. This part of Russia has the most variable weather both in summer and winter as it is more open to weather disturbances from the Atlantic and northwest Europe. The mildest areas in winter are near the Baltic coast but even here the sea often freezes.
Summers at St.Petersburg(at the head of the Gulf of Finland) are a little cooler than those inland and further east. Summers become warmer eastwards and southwards. The whole area has a summer maximum of precipitation. Hours of sunshine are rather low in winter over the whole region and average only an hour or two a day but in summer this rises to between eight and ten hours. In summer the increasing day length in the north is important for both warmth and sunshine.
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