The key weather and climate features in the northern hemisphere in December 2016

Air temperature

The November colds in Russia became more severe in the last month of the year. The frosts attacked the European territory of Russia (ETR), the Urals, central and northern parts of Siberia and Yakutia all first part of December. In the ETR north, in Volga area, Urals, West Siberia the new daily lows repeatedly took place. In Yakutia the temperature dropped down to -56°, in the Ural north – below -40°, in Volga area - -35°. Even in the south, in Kislovodsk the temperature -17°, in Crimea - -15° and in Sochi area - -10° was registered. The decade average temperature anomalies reached -8°…-13°. Frosts decreasing became in the third decade of the month. And, although decade average temperatures, as before, were negative on the most part of the abovementioned territories, the substantial warming came to the Russian North, Central region and Upper Volga area. At the average, in the third decade it was warmer than usual by 4-11°.

Southern areas of Siberia, north of Far East and Arctic islands during the month were in the area of relatively warm weather. There were days, when daily average temperature exceeded the norm by 20° and more.
At the month average, in Chukchi area the air temperature became higher the norm by 6-8°, in the south of Siberia and Russian North – by 2-3°, in the Arctic islands – by more than 10°. At the same time in the north of Siberian and in most part of Ural Federal Districts December in general is colder the norm by 4-6°, in Volga area – by 2-4°, in south of ETR – by 1-2°. In some points the monthly average air temperature minimums were recorded. In Sochi the last December became the coldest on record.
Composition of the negative and positive anomalies became the result of the December 2016 average temperature was close to the norm in Russia. The same words one can say on Northen-West, Central and Siberian Federal Districts. At the same time, Southern, North-Caucasian, Volga and Ural Federal Districts are obviously colder than usual, and north of Far East Federal District – obviously warmer.
In China, Korea, Japan and Mongolia the last December became abnormally warm. In Mongolia the December air temperature norms were exceeded by 3-5°, in Japan and Korea – by 1-3°, China – by 1-3° in the south and up to 3-5° in the central and northern provinces. In some points of these countries the new temperature maximums were recorded, including Seoul and Tokyo. In China the last December became the warmest on record.
In Indochina countries and India the average air temperature was close to the norm and relatively more.
In the Central Asia the cold November weather made way to the abnormal December warm, it was summer temperature - +22…+27°. New daily temperature maximums were recorded. As a result, it was warmer than usual in month average by 2-5°. In Almaty the monthly average temperature was above the normal by +4.3°, in Tashkent - +2.2°.
Approximately the same anomalies took place in most part of Iran. At the same time, the cold air from Russia often penetrated to the north-west of the country as well as to the north of Middle East. Therefore, in Tabriz (Iran) the last December is colder the norm by 4.3°, in Nakhichevan (Azerbaijan) – by 3.6°, Tbilisi – by 2.0°, in Turkey – by 2-4°, in Syria, Jordan and Israel – approximately by 1°.
In the most part of Northern Africa the air temperature is close to the norm. At the same time, in the south-east (Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, south areas of Mali and Niger) it exceeded the norm by 1-3°, in the north-east of Egypt it became lower by the same value.
In the west and north of Europe the temperature conditions were close to normal, in the north and north-east – warmer than usual. In Norway, UK, Denmark the new daily temperature maximums have been set. At the average, the air became warmer here by 2-5° above the norm (in Oslo the anomaly was +5.4°, Stockholm - +2.9°, Helsinki - +3.1°, Reykjavik - +4.0°, Hamburg - +2.6, Riga - +4.1°, Warsaw - +2.1°). The cold weather from European territory of Russia penetrated deeply to the south-east of the continent. Here the average monthly air temperature was below the norm. In Odessa it was below by 1.1°, Belgrade – 1.5°, Bucharest – 1°, Varna – 2.1°.
In Canada the abnormally warm weather in the north of the country (the monthly average temperature is above the norm by 2-5°) was the neighbour of the abnormally cold weather – in the south-west and south-east (in Vancouver the anomaly was -2.2°, Schefferville in Quebec province – 2.4°). As a result, the average temperature in general countrywide was close to the norm. The same result was in USA, although the anomalies dissemination picture was reverse. The cold states of the north-west (anomalies up to -2…-5°) opposed to the south with anomalies +2…+4° and east (anomalies around +1°).
The Arctic region, though as before it has abnormally high temperatures (the average December anomaly was +2.9°), at the moment it became substantially colder, than in previous years. It is situated beyond the first ten warmest Decembers with the temperature below -20°.
In Moscow the December average temperature was -4.6°, anomaly was +1.5°.

Ocean surface temperature

The sea surface average temperature anomalies of Pacific and Atlantic oceans in the Northern Hemisphere in December 2016 were kept on the previous month level together with their geographical localization.
In equatorial latitudes of Pacific ocean, as before, the abnormally cold water is being observed. The values of the negative anomalies and their area were kept at the last level or became relatively smaller, which tells on the passed La-Niña peak and its finish in spring.
Also, as before, the abnormally cold water in the mid-latitudes of both oceans and abnormally warm – in warm current are being observed, which situated to the east of continents (Gulfstream – North America) and (Kuroshio – Asia). In December Mexican gulf was added to the areas with abnormally warm water. Here the SST anomalies exceeded +1°.
The open surface water is substantially above the norm in Arctic basin: in Greenland, Barents, Kara, Bering seas and in Davis strait. Here the SST anomalies were in December +1…+2°.
The sea surface temperature in Arctic basin at the annual average became substantially above the norm. In Barents and Kara seas this exceeding was +2…+3°, in Bering sea and Alaska gulf – more than +1°.
In general, in the most part of the Northern Hemisphere oceans the annual average temperature is above the norm. Only in mid-latitudes of Atlantic and Pacific oceans – it was below the norm.
From January to May El-Niño was observed, which commenced in winter 2014-2015, at this period the Pacific ocean surface temperature in equatorial latitudes exceeded the norm by 1.0-1.5°, from August to the end of the year – La Niña, and temperature in the same area was below the norm, but less considerably.
In winter and spring of 2016, i.e. in El-Niño period the monthly average sea surface temperatures of the Northern Hemisphere reached the extreme values on the record, and during La Niña (end of summer and autumn of 2016) the extremes stopped, however, they had 2-3 rank in the highest values.


It was a lot of precipitation in December in Russian Federation, but with the unevenly dispersion. Intensive precipitations were in Russian North and Southern region. In Arkhangelsk and Murmansk districts their sums exceeded the norm in 1.5-2.0 times, and in Murmansk city – almost in 3 times, there were daily precipitations in snow and rain. The heavy snowfalls were the North Caucasus and Crimea. Maikop had two norms of precipitation in a month. In Karachaevo-Cherkessya only one snowfall brought 37mm of precipitation. Sochi was completely covered with snow. Snow cover, although temporary, was formed even on the beach. Nobody has seen such snow cover in Crimea since the middle of the past century. In Simferopol the snow depth reached 10 cm. In South and North-Caucasian Federal Districts the precipitation norms were exceeded in 1.5 times and more. At the same time, it was a few snow in Central Russia and Volga area. In Yaroslavl, Moscow, Ivanovo, Vladimir, Lipetsk, Penza districts it was only the half of the norm.
Approximately the precipitation norm and more was in Ural and east of Volga Federal Districts (in Orenburg district up to 1.5 norm). Siberia was covered with snow, but also unevenly. If in the south of West Siberia (Tomsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Kemerovo districts, Altay region and Altay Republic) it was 1.5-2.5 monthly precipitation norms, but in East Siberia it was a few of snow, excluding Buryat and Tyva Republics.
In the most part of Far East the precipitation is close to norm. The norm exceeding is in the north territories (Kolyma, Chukchi, Kamchatka), the deficiency – in the south ones (south of Khabarovsk region, Primorye, Amur and Sakhalin districts, Jewish Autonomous Region).
The intensive precipitations were in this month in China, Korea and Japan. Here the norm was exceeded in 2-4 times and more. In Pyongyang it was 250% of the monthly norm, Pusan – more than 400%, Tokyo – almost 200%. In most part of China the monthly precipitation sums exceeded the norm in 2-4 times. At the same time, Beijing was a dry area.
The rains inundated the south-east Asia. Here the precipitation norms exceeded in some places in 2-3 times and more. The heavy rains were in the south of Thailand, in one day more than 150mm of precipitation dropped. The rains caused the large-scale floods and casualties. In Indonesia more than 100 thousand people leaved their houses because of floods. The elements destroyed the infrastructure, which caused the energy collapse.
Dry weather was in India and Pakistan, also in the most part of Middle East. The heavy rains were in Israel and Lebanon. In Tel-Aviv, in one day more than 30mm of rain dropped, the monthly average precipitation norms were exceeded in 1.5 times.
In North Africa, excluding the areas adjacent to Mediterranean sea and Guinea gulf, it was dry. The heavy rains were in Egypt in the beginning of the month. They caused the electricity stoppages and traffic incidents. Navigation in Suez channel was temporary stopped. In Sahara desert for the first time during the last 40 years the snow has fallen. Although is laid only one day – this rarest phenomenon was marked by the social nets.
A lot of precipitation was in Central Asia. In the north of Kazakhstan their sums exceeded the norms in 2-3 times, in the south and neighbouring republics there were close to the norm and relatively more.
In Europe the weather was dry. A lot of meteorological stations have not registered the precipitation at all. Only in the south-east of Spain, in Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Baltic counties and in the north of Scandinavia the precipitation was close to the norm and more.
On the other side of Atlantic ocean in USA and in the north of Mexico there were a lot of precipitations. In the American states Minnesota, North and South Dakota they exceeded the norm in 2-4, in the west of the country in 1.5-2.5 times. The same situation is on the north of Mexico. In the east of USA – the precipitation is in the norm, there are some areas in the centre where the monthly precipitation is much lower the norm. In Canada the considerable amount of precipitation was in the south territories, neighbouring to USA and in the north region, where the norms were substantially exceeded. In the most part of the country the weather was dry and precipitations were less than half of the norm.
In Moscow it was 45mm were dropped or 80% from the norm. The annual precipitation amount has set 883 mm. This is the second maximum on the capital’s record. The bigger amount of the precipitation was only in 2013 – 891mm.