Russia: Climate                                                          

Explore the world's climate zones here! Search for Russia and discover where each zone listed above is located within the country.


Russia has broad plains with low hills west of the Ural Mountains. There are vast forests and tundra in Siberia. There are uplands and mountains along the southern border regions. Most of Russia's land is more than 400 kilometers from the sea and the center is 3,840 kilometers from the sea!


The climate ranges from region to region. In Siberia, the climate is subarctic and, in the polar north, tundra. Winters vary from cool along the Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia. Summers vary from warm in the steppes (short grass prairie land) to cool along the Arctic coast. Russia's mountain ranges, predominantly to the south and the east, hold the moderate temperatures from the Indian and Pacific oceans, but European Russia and northern Siberia lack such topographic protection from the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans.

Siberian Tundra

  • The tundra is located at the top of the northern hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America. It covers 20% of the earth's surface just below the polar cap. The Siberian tundra is located in the northeastern part of Russia between 60° to 80° north latitude, and 70° to 180° east longitude.


  •  In the Siberian tundra, winters are long and summers are short. During the winter, temperatures are usually below freezing and the ground is covered with snow and ice. Summers are marshy from puddles called thermokarsts formed from melted snow and ice.


  •  The Lena, Ob and Yenisei are all permanent rivers that flow into the Siberian Tundra.


  •  The tundra is located 1,000 to 4,000 feet above sea level.


  • Pingoes are formed from pools of water freezing under the ground and pushing the ground up into a hill. Some pingoes are 3 to 300 feet tall and a half-mile wide.


  • In the tundra, there are two levels of soil. The first layer is called the active layer because it freezes and thaws. It is 10 inches to 3 feet deep. The second layer is called the permafrost. It stays frozen throughout the winter and summer.


  • The climate in the Siberian tundra in the winter is very cold. The temperature may reach -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Summers are cool with temperatures of 37 degrees to 54 degrees Fahrenheit.


  • Precipitation is only 6 to 10 inches per year including melted snow.


  • The tundra is very windy. It has winds from 30 to 60 miles per hour. The wind-chill is so bad in the tundra, bare skin can freeze in 30 seconds.


  • The Yakut people inhabit the northeastern part of Siberia. To survive, they hunt, trap and fish animals.


  • The animals of the tundra include fish, birds, mammals and insects. The animals survive with extra fat and thick fur to keep them warm. Most animals are low to the ground and their arms, legs, tails and ears are small to keep from losing heat. Hundreds of types of birds stay for the summer only.