Air Temperature

The only regions where the monthly-averaged air temperature was less than normal were Chukotka and, partially, North Yakutia. The climate was abnormally warm in the rest of the country. The normal value was exceeded by +2…4° in the European part and by +4-6° in Asia. Yet, the latter does not mean that it remained so during all January.
In the first decade of January, an increased average temperature was observed in the North and South of the ETR and in most parts of Siberia and Far East (with the anomalies of decade-averaged temperatures reaching +4…8°). In the meantime, the temperature in the Central Region, South Urals and South Siberia was close to normal, or even somewhat less than that in some places.
In the second decade, warmth pervaded almost all the territory of Russia excluding its North East. The daily maxima were recorded in the Upper Volga Region, Trans-Baikal, Evenkiya, Amur Region and Kamchatka. The warmth anomalies in this decade were in excess of +4-8°. Yakutia, Kolyma and Chukotka were the only regions where the weather was noticeably colder than usual (with -2…-4° anomalies). In Yakutia, the temperatures dropped below -50°.
In the third decade, the warm weather only survived in the South of the ETR, Southern Siberia and the South of the Far East (the anomalies of decade-averaged temperatures being +4…10°), whereas the rest of the country was flooded with cold air, and the temperature became normal or even 2-6° below it in the North. In this decade, the coldest temperatures reached -30° in Central Russia and -40° in the Russian North, with the temperature minima recorded in the North of West Siberia and severe colds down to -55° observed in Yakutia. But at the same time, exceptionally warm weather came to the Trans-Baikal, Omsk and Irkutsk regions, to the South of the Khabarovsk Territory, to the Primorye, to the Northern Caucasus and to Crimea.
The monthly-averaged temperature in all Federal districts reached neither extreme positive values nor extreme negative ones. Quite habitually already, this January turned out to be anomalously warm. This occurred for the fifth year in succession; all in all, only four Januaries in the XXI century have featured the monthly-averaged temperatures below their normal values.

Warm weather in the South of the Far East spread to the adjacent territories of China, Mongolia, Korea and Japan. There, the average air temperature in January was 2-4° below normal, or 4-6° below it in the Chinese provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin in the North-East of the country. Farther to the South of China, the temperature became closer to its normal value but exceeded it again by 1-2° in the southernmost provinces of Guangdong and Yunnan.
In the South-East Asian countries still farther to the South, the excess of monthly-averaged air temperatures was even more substantial, namely, about 2-3°.
The averaged January temperature in India was close to normal; nevertheless, it was slightly colder than usual in most of the country.
The weather in the Near and Middle East was much warmer, with the anomalies in the range of +2…4°. But these anomalies were even larger in Central Asia. New temperature maxima were recorded in many locations throughout Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan and Kyrgyzstan. In some places, the air temperature in the depth of winter rose to +25° or higher, and the anomalies of monthly-averaged temperature where above +5…7°.
North Africa appeared split in two parts: the abnormally cold northern part, and the southern part with the temperatures close to normal or even abnormally warm in some places. In Tunisia, hospitals treated frost-bitten people, and the cases of frozen to death were reported. In some areas of this country and of its neighbouring Algeria, this month was by 2-3° or more colder than usual. In contrast to this, warm weather prevailed to the South of Sahara. The temperature averages in the South of Mali and in Burkina Faso, Nigeria or Cameroon where two or more degrees higher than their normal values.
In most parts of Europe, the monthly-averaged air temperature was normal. The weather was colder than usual in the European South only. In Greece, the night-time air temperature could remain negative for a week. In Spain, this temperature was 2-3° below the normal value during the third decade; there, the thermometer readings dropped to almost 0° in Barcelona and below -7° in Milan. Eastern Europe was the only exception where the last January was by 1-2° warmer than usual even thought short-time cold periods where still observed there. For example, cold temperatures reached -30° in the mountains of Czechia. Similar figures were recorded in Scandinavia, although this is hardly a rare phenomenon for North-European countries.
In the North American continent, very cold air descended upon the South-East of Canada in the end of the month. The coldest temperatures were -30° in the Winnipeg region and -25° in Toronto. Spreading further southwards, cold weather not only invaded the Great Lakes and the Middle West but expanded to the South States of Alabama and Mississippi. More than fifty million people in this territory lived in houses not intended for anything like that. The fatalities were reported. New records of minimum temperatures were set in the states of South Dakota, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, New-York, Illinois and Pennsylvania. The Niagara Falls was frozen in part. The monthly-averaged air temperature in the East of Canada and the North-East of the USA was 2-4° below normal. At the same time, the climate was abnormally warm in the western territories of these countries. The monthly-averaged temperature along the Pacific Coast was 2-6° above normal; similar anomalies took place in the North of Mexico as well.
The average temperature in the Northern Hemisphere has been assigned a position right after the five highest values in the ranking list recorded since 1891.
In Moscow, the average January temperature was -6.6°, and the anomaly was +2.6°.

Ocean Surface Temperature

The El Nino that started in the Pacific Ocean in the end of the previous year slowed down in the beginning of this year. Namely, given that the sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies over significant part of equatorial latitudes in the Western Hemisphere exceeded +1° in December, almost everywhere they reduced to less than 1° in January. This may be the reason why the average SST anomaly has subsided. On the average, SST anomalies ≥1° in January were observed locally over individual ranges of tropical and middle latitudes. The water temperature in the Pacific Ocean was basically close to normal, but was less than normal in the Sea of Okhotsk and in the Bering Strait region.
In the Atlantic Ocean, anomalously cold water could be traced in tropical latitudes. The SST in the remaining water areas of the Ocean was close to normal, excluding individual local regions where it was about 1° higher or lower than the normal value.


Almost all around the European Territory of Russia, the amounts of precipitation were either normal or increased. The normal monthly figures were exceeded by 1.5 times or more in most parts of the North-West Federal district, in the North of the Central and Volga Federal districts, and partly in the Black-Earth and Mid-Volga Regions. On particular dates, up to one-half times the normal monthly amount of snow was brought by heavy snowfalls thereby increasing the height of snow cover to half a metre. The resulting snow drifts blocked railway and motor traffic in certain places. In the South of the ETR, the abundant precipitation in the Krasnodar Territory, in the Rostov and Volgograd Regions and in Crimea came along with participation amounts less than normal in the Northern Caucasus.
The precipitation was as normal in Urals, but meagre in the South of Siberia. It was half the normal value in the Novosibirsk Region, the Altai Territory and the Republics of Khakassia and Tyva. Snow cyclones seemed to forget their way to the Far East. The monthly snow precipitation in the Trans-Bailkal and Primorye Territories, and in the Jewish Autonomous, Magadan or Chukotka Autonomous Regions was just 5-10 mm or altogether absent. It was less than 1 mm in Vladivostok where such low values have not been observed for the last 20 years.
The precipitation was very scarce in Mongolia, Korea and northern or north-east regions of China. No precipitation at all was seen here and there in January. On the other hand, the precipitation was 1.5-2.5 times the normal amount to the South of Huang He.
It was very rainy in the Indo-Chinese and Indonesian countries. The precipitation rates were exceeded by two or more times in the North of Vietnam and Laos. Showers made the life of people on the Sulawesi Island much harder. They resulted in floods and landslides that destroyed thousands of hectares of rice paddies and demolished many houses and bridges, killing humans.
The weather in India was chiefly dry excluding Kashmir where the monthly precipitation reached its normal total value due to heavy snowfalls. In Nepal, this value was exceeded.
Snowstorms in Lebanon and Israel occurred several times per month. In Jerusalem, snow fell for the first time in the last five years. These countries and their neighbours, Turkey and Syria, received precipitation in normal amounts, but virtually no precipitation was recorded in the other Near and Far East territories.
Plenty of snows and rains took place in Central Asia. Generally, their monthly totals were close to or greater than usual. In Kazakhstan, the height of snow cover in some places exceeded the normal value by 2-3 times and reached the maximum values that have been recorded in this time of year for the whole history of observations.
The precipitation in North Africa, if only in small quantities, was solely observed along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and of the Gulf of Guinea. In Tunisia, an unprecedented snowfall made its appearance, lead to the traffic havoc on the roads and caused lethal accidents.
In Europe, the only regions to get much precipitation were the eastern and central ones. Heavy snowfalls took place in Germany and Austria, producing up to 80 cm of snow cover per day. In these countries, the monthly precipitation rates were exceeded by 1.5-2.0 times. Athens was attacked by a severe snowstorm that required closing the schools as they were normally not heated and unfit for operation in such conditions. Lots of snow fell in Ukraine. According to the Ukrainian Hydrometcentre, such a snowy winter has not been seen in the country for the last fifty years. In the West of the continent, everybody was readily accustomed to the absence of snow, and the more surprising was the snowfall that hit the western coast of France, England and Scotland in the last days of the month and delivered up to 10 cm of snow per day.
In the USA, snows were frequent during this month. The snows in early January covered the Arizona deserts and made the cacti protruding from under the white blanket look rather exotic. The snowstorm in mid-January covered more than half of the USA territory from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. Washington, the capital of the country, was submerged in snow. The normal amounts of monthly precipitation were exceeded by 1.5-2.0 times or more. Many rains fell on the Pacific coast.
In Canada, much snow fell in the eastern province of Quebec and in the central provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. There, the total monthly precipitation reached the normal value and exceeded it in some places. The precipitation was scarce in the rest of the country.
In Moscow, the monthly precipitation amounted to 67 mm; this is 1.5 times greater than normal. The heavy snowfall which started on February 26 and continued without interruption for 37 hours has set a new record for the total daily precipitation.