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

Air temperature

European territory of Russia was experienced with the real winter weather in the first decade of the new year. In the central and north-western regions frosts reached -25°C and below (in the Khibiny - up to -40°C). As a result, the mean decade negative temperature anomalies covered the entire territory from the western border to the Urals, reaching -10°C or lower values. In the second half of the month the weather has changed dramatically and become more like a spring (temperature anomalies for the third decade amounted to + 5°C or more). As a result, on average for January over most of European Russia have developed temperature conditions close to normal and only in the northwest it still was colder than usual for about 2-3°C.

Another cold center in the territory of Russia was located in the south of Siberia, where on average it turned out colder than normal by 2-6°C. Finally, the third is Kamchatka, where during the whole month it was colder than normal, but much less than in Siberia - by 2-4°C.


Only the north of the country from the Northern Urals to the Kolyma River got much more heat than it laid in January. At the Taimyr and Yakutia mean monthly temperature anomalies reached + 12 ... + 14°C, on the Vize island in the Kara Sea - + 17°C.
On some days, the thermometer in Yakutia and Chukotka dropped below -40°C, while to the south of Russia the weather was more like spring. In Crimea, the temperature rose to + 15°C, and in Sochi - to + 20°C. In the last days of the month a new daily temperature highs were set in the country's western region: Smolensk, Kaliningrad, Bryansk, Tver region.

The first month of the new year turned out to China abnormally cold. Strong cooling entered here in the 20 days of the month. In Zhejiang province in the east of the country (to the south from Shanghai) was registered the absolute minimum temperature in the history of meteorological observations in the province. The thermometer dropped to -20°C. New daily lows registered in Beijing and Shanghai. Even in the south of Hong Kong for the first time in 60 years it was registered temperatures below -3°C, and further south in Taiwan - + 4°C, which can be considered as "frost" in this tropical island. Strong cold went to Mongolia. Here, the average temperature was below the norm by 2-5°C, and in northern China - by 1-2°C. A cold January in China - the trend of the XXI century. 11 of the 16 Januaries had an average temperature below normal, and January 2011 is the coldest in the country's history.

Strong cold in the end of the month entered in Southeast Asia. In northern Thailand, the thermometer kept near 0°C mark and accompanied by a strong cold wind that felt by the Thais as "terrible" cold, which led to the deaths of more than 60 people. Not winter weather prevailed in Central Asia and the Middle East. In Central Asian countries – Afghanistan and Iran – on average for the month air warmed to 4-7°C above normal. In the Middle East, the temperature conditions generally correspond to the norm, even though some days here penetrated severe frosts.

In the northwest Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) month was warmer than usual by 2-3°C. Here last January was the second warmest in the history of meteorological observations, giving up to January 1996.

It was abnormally warm in Western and Central Europe. In many countries, the temperature exceeded by 2-3°C. On some days, the thermometer rose above + 20°C and set new daily high temperatures, on other days - dropped to -5 ... -10°C. The east and north of the continent was dominated by the cold. In the Scandinavian countries, the Baltic States, Belarus and the southern Balkans the month ended with a negative temperature anomalies (-1 ... -3°C). In Bulgaria, the air temperature dropped to -28°C, and the temperature was kept below -20°C for several days in a row. In Scandinavia, temperatures reached -35°C. As a result of the confrontation of heat and cold, average temperature on the continent was above normal but far beyond record levels.

Canada felt the second warmest January in its history. Warmer was only in January 1981. At this time, on the entire territory of the country the temperature was above normal. In the central and northern provinces - by 4-9°C. It would be wrong to say that there was not cold at all in Canada. So, in the province of Ontario frosts reached -30°C and below.

Canadian heat went to neighboring US state of Alaska. So as in Canada, last January there was the second warmest in history, the anomalies reached + 6 ... + 9°C. Such a large anomaly distinguish this state from the rest of the US, where the majority of average for the month developed temperature conditions close to normal and only in the north along the Canadian border was abnormally warm, about 2-4°C. At the end of the month strong frosts reached the northern and central regions of Mexico. For this reason, the emergency mode has been introduced in some states.

Exceptionally warm was this month in the Arctic. As it was already noted, in the eastern sector Vize island air on the average for the month warmed to 17ºC above the norm, and on the Taimyr Peninsula and northwest of Yakutia - to 12-14ºC. In the western sector of the Arctic in the north of Canada and Alaska, this excess amounted to +6 ... 9ºC and more. Last January was the warmest in the history of meteorological observations in the Arctic region of the Earth. Its average temperature for more than 1ºC exceeded the previous record achievement set in the period of warming in the Arctic in the 30-ies of XX century.

As it was already reported by Hydrometeorological Centre of Russia, on the northern hemisphere 2015 was the warmest in the history of meteorological observations, and in the period from May to December, the average monthly air temperature reached the absolute maximum. According to the operational climate monitoring conducted in the Hydrometeorological Centre of Russia, this trend continued in 2016. Last month once again was the warmest in the history of meteorological observations.
In Moscow, the average air temperature for the month -10.1°C. This is below the norm by 0.8°C.

The temperature of the ocean surface

In the Pacific retained the active phase of the El Niño. Anomalies of the average ocean surface temperature in the equatorial latitudes exceed +2 ... + 3°C. However, the mean anomaly on the surface of the ocean has decreased markedly. This happened mainly due to the formation of negative anomalies in the western part of the temperate latitudes, including along the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia.

The average value of mean monthly temperature anomalies of the Atlantic ocean surface in the northern hemisphere remained at the level of the last few months - about 0.5°C. Water temperatures in the Gulf Stream is still much higher than normal, so as the Gulf of Mexico (anomalies + 1-2°C), as well as off the coast of Europe and North-West Africa. A large water area of ocean between Newfoundland and Iceland occupied by the negative OST anomalies. In some places, the water temperature was below normal by 1°C or more. OST above the norm was in the north - in the Norwegian and Barents Seas. Perhaps this was due to very high temperatures in the Arctic.


European territory of Russia in January was literally littered with snow. Almost everywhere the amount of precipitation for the month exceeded the norm. Especially a lot of precipitation (2-3 times more than the norm) went to central and southern regions. Here, the amount of precipitation reached monthly norms and even blocked them by January 20th. Partly snowfalls were very strong. For half a day it fell out more than 20mm of snow, which is considered as the hazardous weather. There is a rapid increase in snow cover. One day it grew in 20-25cm.

At the same time near Urals, there almost was not fresh snow at all. Only in the Trans-Baikal and the Altai partially total precipitation for the month was close to the norm and more, as a rule - no more than 50%. Not much snow was in Far East region. Only in Yakutia and Primorye precipitation reached and exceeded its norms.

Heavy snowfall went to East Asia. In Korea, a blizzard has covered the southern island of Jeju. Snowfall exceeded the record of thirty years ago. For a few days the airport was closed. In Japan, on Hokkaido per day dropped 22mm of snow and more. Honshu - 38mm of snow. Snow was even on the subtropical island of Oshima, where it was last seen in 1901. In China, snowfalls hit the south of the country. In Guangzhou, located at the latitude of the northern tropic, snow fell for the first time since the founding of the PRC, ie since 1949. In the south, precipitation exceeded the norm by 2-4 times, while in the north there were quite a few of them.

Snowfalls in southern China have turned to heavy rains in the countries of Indochina. In Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, they sometimes exceeded the norm by 2-3 times.

A lot of rain fell on Central Asia. In Kazakhstan, the Central Asian republics and Afghanistan sometimes the norm was exceeded by 2-3 times.

In India, Pakistan, the Middle East, it was mostly dry. Heavy snowfall took place in the South Caucasus. During the day, the snow depth in some places grew up by 10-20 cm, in the west of Georgia it has reached one meter. On the last day of the month the snow fell in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, which happens far not every winter. In this region, only Turkey has got a lot of rainfall. For a month, they have accumulated in the 1.5-2.5 times more than the norm.

In the north of Egypt were rains, while Tunisia got snow. According to media reports the strongest over the past 50 years drought struck Ethiopia. It is now more catastrophic then the drought of 1984, which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Drought is now enhanced and it is expected that the peak has not yet reached.

With the exception of Italy and Spain, the southern areas of France, Europe has got normal or more of rainfall. In some parts of Germany, France, Great Britain, Austria, Slovakia, the Balkan countries, rainfall exceeded the norm by 2 times or more. It was one of the most "wet" January in its history for England. By the middle of the month in London, Manchester and Leeds has fallen more than the monthly norm of precipitation. Strong snowstorm passed through Eastern Europe. In Prague has dropped 20cm per day, while in Sofia -. 30cm of snow. In Bulgaria, due to the snowfall and avalanches caused by them in some areas has been introduced state of emergency. In Romania, the snow stopped the work of the main sea port of Constanta country.

In the Mid-states of the USA on 24-25 January hit snow storm, who received the nickname "Snowdzilla" for the troubles caused by it. For two days in Washington and New York has dropped about one meter of snow. Slightly less than it went to Philadelphia, and a little more – to West Virginia. "Snowdzilla" cut off the two-day record snowfall in Washington in January 1922 when dropped 66cm of snow and even the leader of the XXI century the snow storm "Snowmagedon", which for two days in February 2010 brought 45cm of snow. Dozens of people became the victims of a snow storm this time. Another area of the country where rainfall amounted for the month significantly exceeded the norm (1.5-2.0 times) was the Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain states. Yet in most parts of the country rainfall in January was not enough. Approximately the norm of rainfall went to Canada. Several lower than it went to the southwest of the country and a few more - to the southeast and north. A lot of rain fell on the central regions of Mexico. Here standards were exceeded by 1.5-2.0 times.

In Moscow in the past month fell 77mm of precipitation, which is 183% of normal. It is fifth maximum among all of Januaries in meteorological annals of the capital of Russia. In the previous decade twice rainfall in January in Moscow was more than in 2016.