Temperature Anomalies and Weather Conditions in Russia and in the Northern Hemisphere in 2012


Northern Hemisphere

2012 went down in history of the Northern hemisphere as one of the warmest years. In accordance with the observations results since 1891 through 2012 its average annual air temperature calculated to within 0,1º, holds 5-7 place (together with 1998 and 2003) is among the warmest years since 1880. It’s warmer than 2011 having 9-10 rank, but is notably colder than 2010, the average annual temperature of which is an absolute maximum.


Abnormally Warm Weather in the Arctic. The largest positive anomalies of average annual air temperature, such as in the past years, were registered in the Polar region. The most rapid raising of air temperature in three last decades has been taking place here. In 2012 the average annual air temperature in the Arctic exceeded the norm by 4-7 ° C, and in the north of the Kara Sea between the archipelagoes of Franz Joseph Land and Severnaya Zemlya – more than 7 º C. It was never before that an anomaly of average annual air temperature in the Northern hemisphere exceeded 5 º C. In 2012 on the Vise Island in the Kara Sea, anomalies of the average monthly air temperature exceeded 15-16 ° C in winter, 8-13° C in spring and in autumn, and 1-5 ° C during the warm period of the year.

Annual temperature anomalies (° C), 2012, Northern hemisphere


This quite high air temperature promoted fast melting of the ice and in September 2012 the absolute minimum of the sea ice extent in the Arctic was registered. 2012 became the second warmest year in the 133-years period on record, conceded only 2011 which was warmer by 0,2 º C.

The most parts of North America experienced its warmest summer. In the USA and Canada temperature departure from average exceeded by 2-3 ° C. This year has become the warmest year in the history of the USA.

Average annual temperature for 2012 in Russia marked the 6-7th rank of the warmest years. It is less than in the last year approximately by 0,5 º C and almost 1ºC conceded the warmest in the meteorological chronicle of 2007.


Annual temperature anomalies (° C), 2012, Russia


Though the temperature on the most part of the Northern hemisphere as a whole a year appeared more average, there were regions where the weather was colder than the usual. It is a considerable part of the aqua area of the Pacific and Alaska where such cold year was observed the last time in the 1970s. Temperature below average, but no more than by 0,5º, was in some tropic latitudes of the Atlantic and Indian oceans, in the south of Siberia, in Mongolia, in the north of China and the northeast of Kazakhstan. For continental areas the big contribution was made by very cold December. Its average temperature in these regions was 8-10° C below average.

Sea surface temperature of the Atlantic ocean and Pacific in the Northern hemisphere though exceeded norm, however considerably conceded the record marks fixed in zero years of the XXI century. It was especially noticeable in the winter and at the beginning of spring that is when La Nina existed. At this time average temperatures of the surface of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in the Northern hemisphere weren't included into the first group of ten of the most high-ranged values. Water temperature of the middle course of the Gulf Stream was higher than norm (by 1- 2° C) . Transfer of this heat to the north of the Greenland and Barents seas undoubtedly promoted so prompt warming of the Arctic.

Some territories of the Northern hemisphere experienced a severe drought in 2012. 2/3 of the US territories have experienced the strongest drought for the last decades. Droughty conditions were observed in the south of ETR and in Kazakhstan. The Indian monsoon weakened in this year brought not enough moisture to the territory of India and to the next Pakistan. At the same time in parts of Europe and China precipitations were above normal and they often caused flash flooding, mudflows, landslides and other natural disasters. Abundance of a precipitation in the Western Africa (Sahel) provided inhabitants of this poorest region of the world with theirown food.


Sea Ice in the Arctic


The sea ice in the Northern polar region in September 2012 reached its absolute minimum extent for the entire history - 3346,2 thousand square kilometers. The sea ice extent in the central Arctic (the Laptev Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea) was 35 percent below average, in the Beaufort Sea and the Canadian Arctic was 60 percent below average, in the Greenland, Barents and Kara seas was 70 percent below average. All ice massifs, except Vrangelevsky one, have been melted.

Since the beginning the ice formation and until the end of 2012 a big lag in the development of the ice was noted in the western sector of the Arctic. There was slow an ice increase in the Barents and Kara seas. The extensive zone, free from ice was observed until the end of the year in the west of the Kara Sea. At the end of December 2012 the ice area in the western sector of the Arctic was 2535,0 thousand square kilometers that is 23 percent below average. But at the same time in other regions of the Arctic the quantity of the ice was normal or even more.


Temperature and Precipitation Anomalies in Russia


The Southern federal district’s average February temperature was the 3rd coldest on records began in 1891. The North Caucasus federal district experienced its coldest February and winter in the history.

In March frigid temperature was felt across the south of European territory of Russia.

The heat rapidly increasing took place in April. Similar to that in the Central district, the Volga region, in the Urals and, especially, in the southern region, it wasn’t observerd in previous years in April.

The spring in the middle of April rushed into the Center of the European Russia - the winter was simply replaced with the summer. Sharp and considerable warming led to almost simultaneous flowering of different breeds of trees.

In late April daily temperature in many districts, including Yekaterinburg and Moscow, broke the records. Moscow twice recorded its daily maximum temperature on 28 and 29 of April. On 29 of April the air temperature reached 28,9°, this value became the new month record. The Southern, North Caucasian and Volga federal districts had their warmest April on meteorological record since 1891, and the Ural district had its warmest April since 2001.

May monthly-average temperature all over the country repeated the previous record set in 2011.

Following the warmest April, May for the Southern and North Caucasian federal districts became the warmest one for the whole 122nd period of the record. Siberia and the south of the Far East had their third warmest May.

June became the 2nd consecutive month with the highest on record monthly-average temperature all over the country. The south of the Far East had the 3th warmest June. The Urals, Siberia had their warmest June since 1891.

Dry conditions were observed across the most part of Siberia, especially in the south: Tomsk, Kemerovo regions, south of Krasnoyarsk Region, Republic of Khakassia and Tuva. There were areas without any rain drop for a month that led to numerous wildfires.

In the Urals and in the south of Western Siberia the heat wave reached apogee. Daily temperature closely approached nearly 35-40 ° and broke previous records. The similar situation occurred in the northeast of the country.

July average temperature was the third after 2010 and 2011. Only Siberian federal district had extreme average temperature. It had the second warmest July. July of 1991 became the warmest on record. Wildfires in the region still a wide spreading.

Extreme heavy rains occurred in the Southern federal district in Kuban and the North Caucasus. In some places they exceeded norm by 3-4 times. They often fell for very short period of time and caused catastrophic rising of water level of the mountain rivers and led to the flash flooding which caused enormous damage. As a result of a catastrophic high water in the basin of the river Adagum Krymsk town was actually demolished on July 6-7, lives of hundreds of people were lost.

The summer in Russia in general was the second warmest on record having conceded only summer of 2010. It was the hottest summer in the Ural region.

Following the 2nd warmest summer on the whole territory of Russia September was not just warm – it became the 4th warmest September since 1891.

The north of the Far East had its 2nd warmest October since 1891. Only October 1991 was warmer. Last October in the Southern and Volga federal districts was the warmest since 2001.

November 2012 in the north of the Far East was the 4th warmest on record since 1891.

Moscow had the 5th wettest November and the autumn as a whole and the 3rd wettest October. The amount of precipitation from September to November was equal 274 mm that was only 15 mm less, than in record-breaking "wet" autumn of 1952. The November in Moscow which began with rains came to the end with plentiful snowfalls what was not observed during this month in Moscow since 1990, i.e. for the last 22 years.

Autumn 2012 was the 4th warmest on record since 1891. In nowadays in the Central Russia and the Volga region such warm weather in the autumn isn’t rarity. Over the last decade the similar weather has occurred 6 times.

December brought hard frosts in the most parts of Russia. The last time when such cold weather observed in December was 12 years ago. In all federal districts, except the Far East, monthly temperature was below average. In Yakutia and Evenkia the extreme cold reached - 50º, and in the Irkutsk region, Buryatia and Transbaikalia - 40º. Residents in the South of Siberia especially suffered from long lasting colds. In the middle of December temperature was 20-22°C below average and as a result the monthly temperature was 8-10° C below average. In the West Russia such long period of the cold weather in December hasn’t been observed during 30 years. In the European part and Siberia night minimum temperature broke many records.


Severe Weather


In 2012 in Russia there were observed 469 cases of the extreme meteorological events and the complexes of the severe meteorological events which caused a significant damage. The quantity of extreme meteorological events increased almost by 1,5 times in comparison with 2011.

Heavy rain/snow and gales, even in case when they didn’t reach the criteria of dangerous phenomena, substantially complicated economic activity in Russia and, as a rule, caused the most significant damage. The biggest occurrences of severe weather were observed from May to September – 314 cases or 67 % of the total number. The most events were caused by active convection during thunderstorms.

In 2012 there were 29 periods of hard frosts and cold waves, it’s similar to 2011. All winter months, January, February and December, were very cold, when 27 cases of cold waves were registered in the different parts of Russia.

The periods of hot weather in 2012 were by 80% more, than in 2011. The heat waves were observed in Russia almost 3 times more frequently than in 2011. The number of cases with night freezing temperature during the vegetative period in 2012 was by 70 % more, than for the similar period of 2011.

In 2012 86 records of daily maximum and 23 of night minimum temperature were broken.

In Russia 2012 became record year for the number of the dangerous phenomena for the last 14 years.


The Tropical Cyclones Impacted on the Far East of Russia


In 2012 the record number of tropical and ex-tropical cyclones (6 TC) impacted on the Far East of Russia was registered. In the previous time (1970-2011) only 5 TC made impact on Russian Far Eastin 1981 and 2011.

Typhoons "Tembin" and "Bolavin" in the end of August brought heavy rains and wind gales of 30 m/s in Primorye and south Khabarovsk territory. In September the supertyphoon "Sanba" weakened to tropical storm came into Primorsky Krai. It caused the landfalls near Vladivostok. In many regions of Primorye precipitation amount was nearly monthly average including Vladivostok where 108 mm of precipitation fell a day. Gales reached 26 m/s. Heavy rains caused flash rising of water level in the rivers. On October 1st the typhoon "Dzhelavat" in a stage of a tropical storm came to Kuril Islands. Residents of Shikotan Island faced severe conditions, when a half of monthly average of precipitation (82 mm) fell down.