Geography and climate

Moscow is situated on the banks of the Moskva River,  which flows for just over 500 km through the East European Plain in central Russia. 49 bridges span the river and its canals within the city's limits. Elevation of Moscow at the All-Russia Exhibition Centre (VVC), where the head Moscow weather station is situated, is 156 m (512 ft). The highest point is Teplostanskaya highland at 255 m (837 ft). The width of Moscow city (not limiting MKAD) from west to east is 39.7 km (24.7 mi), and the length from north to south is 51.7 km (32.1 mi).

Moscow's road system is centered roughly around the Kremlin at the heart of the city. From there, roads generally radiate outwards to intersect with a sequence of circular roads ("rings").

The first and innermost major ring, Bulvarnoye Koltso (Boulevard Ring), was built at the former location of the 16th century city wall around that used to be called Bely Gorod (White Town). The Bulvarnoye Koltso is technically not a ring; it does not form a complete circle, but instead a horseshoe-like arc that goes from the Cathedral of Christ the Savior to the Yauza River. In addition, the Boulevard Ring changes street names numerous times throughout its journey across the city.

The second primary ring, located outside the bell end Boulevard Ring, is the Sadovoye Koltso  (Garden Ring). Like the Boulevard Ring, the Garden Ring follows the path of a 16th century wall that used to encompass part of the city. The third ring, the Third Transport Ring, was completed in 2003 as a high-speed freeway.

The Fourth Transport Ring, another freeway, is under construction to further reduce traffic congestion. The outermost ring within Moscow is the Moscow Automobile Ring Road (often called the MKAD from the Russian Московская Кольцевая Автомобильная Дорога), which forms the approximate boundary of the city. Outside the city, some of the roads encompassing the city continue to follow this circular pattern seen inside city limits.

Climate

Moscow has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with warm, somewhat humid summers and long, cold winters. 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 between May and September), daytime high temperatures often top 30 °C (86 °F)—sometimes for a week or a two at a time. 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). The highest temperature ever recorded was 38.2 °C (100.8 °F) at the VVC weather station and 39.0 °C (102.2 °F) in the center of Moscow and Domodedovo airport on 29 July 2010 during the unusual 2010 Northern Hemisphere summer heat wave. At the new averages 1981–2010 mean temperature of July is 19.2 °C (66.6 °F). The lowest ever recorded was −42.2 °C (−44.0 °F) in January 1940. Snow cover (present for 3–5 months a year) typically begins at the end of November and melts by mid-March.

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.

The average annual temperature in Moscow is 5.8 °C (42.4 °F) (1981–2010), but for the last two years (2007–2008) the annual temperature has averaged above 7 °C (45 °F). In contrast, during the first half of the 20th century, Moscow experienced light frost during the late summer months.

Region of the Central Russia, including Moscow, is one of points of the greatest display of effect of global warming on the earth, excepting growth of temperature at the expense of anthropogenic influence of a city. The mid-annual temperature on the present (norm 1981-2010) in comparison with the beginning of 20 centuries (norm 1879-1908) has grown more than on 2 degrees of Celsius.

Year of

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Record high

2007

1989

2007

1950

2007

1901

2010

2010

1890

1915

2010

2008

2010

Record low

1940

1929

1913

1879

1885

1916

1886

1885

1881

1960

1890

1940

1940

On average Moscow has 1731 hours of sunshine per year, varying between a low of 8% in December to 52% in May–August. In 2004–2010, the average was between 1800 and 2000 hours with tends to more sunshine in summer months.

 

Climate data for Moscow (VVC) normals 1961–1990, records 1879–the present

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Record high °C (°F)

8.6
(47.5)

8.3
(46.9)

17.5
(63.5)

28.0
(82.4)

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)

−21.0
(-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)

% Humidity

83

80

74

67

64

70

74

77

81

81

84

85

76.7

Avg. rainy days

0.8

0.7

3

9

13

14

15

15

15

12

6

2

105.5

Avg. snowy days

18

15

9

1

0.1

0

0

0

0.1

2

10

17

72.2

Sunshine hours

33

72

128

170

265

279

271

238

147

78

32

18

1,731

Current time in Moscow


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