Eastern Europe climate

Most of the region formerly known as northern and central European Russia is below 1,000 feet and has rather variable weather compared to other parts of the old USSR. This is because it is more open to weather influences coming from western Europe. The mildest areas are along the Baltic coast, but even here the sea can freeze in severe winters. Daily average maximum temperatures at Moscow range from -9 °C in January to 23 °C in July. July is the wettest month on average (88 mm). Winter sunshine is low throughout the region, only one hour per day on average being received. In summer, however, up to ten hours on average are common.

Hungary is a totally enclosed country, completely cut off from the moderating influence of the Atlantic Ocean. There are no great differences in weather or climate throughout the country, though there is a considerable difference between winter and summer, and spells of weather tend to persist longer than in more-oceanic climates. Spring and summer are the wettest periods, much of the rain coming in frequent heavy thundery downpours. Summer weather is pleasantly warm or hot, whilst the winters are cold with snow and fog. Indeed, the Danube is occasionally completely frozen during severe spells. Daily average maximum temperatures at Budapest vary from vary from 1 °C in January to 28 °C in July. The wettest month on average is May (72 mm).

The Czech and Slovak Republics are also enclosed countries with a transitional climate between the milder, wetter Atlantic European pattern and the more extreme Russian weather. There is little variability in the weather across the countries, and the longest periods of settled weather occur during calm cold foggy winter spells. Snow may lie for as many as 100 days. Average daily maximum temperatures at Prague vary from 10 °C in January to 23 °C in July. On average, the wettest month is July (68 mm).

Romania has a continental-type climate with cold snowy winters and warm summers. Precipitation is normally rather low except in the higher parts of the Carpathians. Spring and summer are the wettest seasons with frequent thunderstorms. The change from winter to summer is rather abrupt, with spring being a short and changeable season. Summers can have up to 10 hours of sunshine a day, but only two hours in a typical winter period. At Bucharest, average daily maximum temperatures vary from 1 °C in January to 30 °C in July and August. June is the wettest month on average (121 mm).

Most of Poland has a similar climate and the same sequence of weather throughout the year. Precipitation is well distributed throughout the year, with a summer maximum of rain, often heavy and thundery. Much of the winter precipitation is snow, which can lie for up to 100 days in the Carpathians. In summer, it rarely gets hot, but fine spells of sunny weather and occasional droughts occur. At Warsaw, daily average maximum temperatures vary from 0 °C in winter to 24 °C in summer. The wettest month on average is July (96 mm).

Last updated: 17 December 2013