Air temperature

From the first days of July to the end of the month, the weather in the European Territory of Russia was abnormally cold. The average air temperatures were 1-3° below the normal value in each of the three decades. Unprecedented colds were recorded again and again, and not only on a daily scale but on a monthly basis as well. For example, new temperature minima for July were set in a number of locations throughout the Central and Volga Federal Districts. The centre of Russia has not seen such cold midsummer since 1985. There, July was colder than June. To be honest, June was very hot this year, and this event could hardly be called a rare exception as it happened for the twentieth time in the 129-year history of meteorological observations in Russia (i.e., once in 6-7 years) and for the second time in the 21st century, 2013 being the first occasion.
The south of the Urals, the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District to the east of it and most of the Krasnoyarsk Territory were indulged in warmth, and conquered by heat from time to time. There, the air could warm up to new maximum values in certain places. In Siberia, the air temperature was 3-6° above the normal value in the first and second decades. In the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District and Urals, the thermometer readings crossed a +30° mark sometimes.
In the Far East, the weather was moderately warm in general, apart from eastern Yakutia and Chukotka where new temperature maxima were recorded but the cold finally penetrated in the third decade.

In overall, the monthly-averaged air temperature turned out to be 1-2 or more degrees lower than the normal value in the ETR and about as much higher than this value in the north of the Urals, in Eastern Siberia and in Chukotka.
In China, the air was much hotter than usual in certain days even though the monthly-averaged air temperature in July was close to normal in most parts of the country. Thus, the thermometer readings rose above +38° in Shanghai to create a suffocating environment in the city owing to high humidity. In Lhasa, the capital of Tibet located at an elevation of more than three and a half thousand metres, the temperature remained above +22° for five days in a row thereby setting a new record for this region. In Mongolia and in a number of Japanese areas, the monthly-averaged air temperature exceeded the normal value by about 2-3°.
In India and in South-East Asia, such excess was less impressive, by some 1.0-1.5°.
In Central Asia where midsummer is traditionally accompanied by hot weather, the heat was exorbitant this time. Everywhere from Kazakhstan to Afghanistan, the air warmed up to 2-5° above the normal monthly average. New temperature maxima mostly exceeding +40° were recorded by many stations. In the south of Turkmenistan, the temperature in the shade was above +47°.
In the Near and Middle East, the weather was also very hot. The normal values of air temperatures were exceeded by 3-5° in eastern Iran, by 3° in Kuwait and by 2° or more in Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
A similar picture was observed in North Africa. The anomalies of monthly-averaged temperatures in Egypt, Libya, Algeria and Tunisia were +2…4°. The air temperatures were above normal almost all over North Africa, but at most by 1-2° in its equatorial countries.
In Europe, the average air temperature did not even hit the Top Ten of highest July values in the history of meteorological observations. However, it does not imply that it was not hot there. The temperature contrast between the overheated central and western parts on the one hand and the eastern part with its roughly normal or, in places, somewhat decreased temperatures on the other hand is to blame for such an averaging. The anomalies were +2…4° in Germany, in Austria and to the west of them, while the air temperature was close to normal in Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and the Scandinavian countries, or below it in places in Belarus. The heat peaked in the third decade when numerous record-breaking maxima of air temperature were observed in Central and Western Europe. What is more, they became historical in England and Belgium, i.e., surpassed the previous absolute maxima in these countries. These days, the heat above +40° was common in Germany, France and the Benelux. Such temperatures have never been recorded before on the coast of the North Sea. Due to the unprecedented heat, the energy production on nuclear power plants was stopped in France because the reactors could not be cooled. The heat in Germany impaired the yield of cultivated crops. In Europe, the number of heat waves per each ten years is steadily growing. French climatologists claim that the events when heat reached 40° in most of the country were only recorded twice in 60s and 70s of the past century, became more frequent in 80s and 90s, and were observed annually in the last ten years. Northern Europe in July was out of sync with the rest of the continent: very cold air entered this region from time to time and created new record-breaking temperature minima.
In most of the US, the air temperature in July was normal. On the monthly average, the weather was warmer than usual in the north-east of the country only, by about 2°. The anomaly in New-York measured at +2.8°. Yet, abnormal heat was still observed on some days, notably, in the first days of the third decade. The temperature readings in several states exceeded +45°. Such temperatures coupled with the lack of precipitation led to forest fires. The state of Alaska stood apart and enjoyed extraordinary warm weather again, as in June. The monthly-averaged temperature was almost one degree higher than the previous achievement set in 2004.
In the neighbouring Canadian province of Yukon, the air temperature was also higher than normal (by about 2°). The same concerns the province of Quebec in the south-east of the country: there, the air on some days warmed up to +40° and above. But the positive anomalies were even larger on Canadian Arctic islands and in neighbouring Greenland. The record-high air temperatures speeded up melting of the Greenland ice sheet.
High temperatures were recorded in Mexico. The monthly-averaged air temperatures in the south of this country and in neighbouring countries of Central America were approximately 2° above the normal values.
Apart from Russia, the weather in July was cold in certain aquatic areas of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
As for the whole hemisphere, the monthly-averaged air temperature in July reached the next-to-first highest value (July 2016 being the first one) for the entire history of meteorological observations.
In Moscow, the average temperature in July was +16.8°, with the anomaly of -1.5°. The last equally cold July in the capital was in 1987. This July was colder than June: it happened for the 25th time in the 129-year history of meteorological observations, and for the third time in the 21th century after July 2006 and July 2013.

Ocean Surface Temperature

Even though the average surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean did not reach its maximum in July as it happened in June, it was still very high, namely, +0.7°, i.e., only 0.1° below the record-breaking figure as of July 2004. Just as in June, very high temperatures were observed in the north-east of the Ocean, in the Bering Sea and in the Bering Strait. There, the anomalies of the average SST reached +2…+4° and more. The anomalies of up to +2° were recorded in the warm current of Kuroshio to the east of Japan. The weak El Nino that existed since the autumn of the past year had stopped. The average SST values in the equatorial belt of the Pacific Ocean were close to normal, and the anomalies in some places were already negative.
As for the Atlantic Ocean, its average SST anomaly remained at the level of previous months, i.e., about +0.2°. Water was still very cold (with the anomalies as low as -2° or even lower) to the east of Canada, along the African coast, off the coast of Spain, and in eastern tropical latitudes. The SST higher than the normal value was observed in the Gulf Stream and in the seas washing against the European coast – both in the north and in the south.


In the ETR, the total amounts of precipitation in July either reached or exceeded the normal values almost everywhere. Sub-normal precipitation was observed in some areas of the Black Earth Region (the Kursk and Lipetsk Regions), Middle Volga (the Republic of Mordovia and the Penza Region) and North Caucasus (the Republic of Dagestan and the Chechen Republic). At the same time, the normal values were exceeded by 1.5 to 2.0 times in the north and north-west (the Arkhangelsk, Vologda and Pskov Regions, and the Komi Republic), in the Central Region (the Yaroslavl, Ivanovo and Voronezh Regions), in the Perm Territory, almost throughout the whole Southern Federal District and in individual areas of the North Caucasus. Sometimes, showers were so very heavy as to bring more than 50 mm of rainwater per day. The daily amount of rain in certain areas of Southern Russia could reach the monthly normal value.
The amounts of rain were close to normal in the Urals, but varied in a wide range in Siberia and in the Far East. Thus, frequent rains and, in places, new daily maxima of precipitation were observed in Altai. Yet, the total monthly figures were lower than normal – as in the neighbouring areas in the south of Western Siberia (the Omsk, Novosibirsk and Kemerovo Regions). The quantities of precipitation were basically normal in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, and exceeded 1.5 times the normal value in the Republic of Tyva to the south of it.
A lot of rain went to the southern regions of the Far East (the Amur Region, Trans-Baikal and the south of the Khabarovsk Territory). Downpours could bring more than 60 mm of atmospheric moisture per day causing severe river floods. In the Amur Region, the total monthly amount of precipitation was 1.5-2.0 times greater than the normal amount.
In China, most rains fell in the south of the country as a consequence of the summer monsoon, and partially in the north-east along the border with the Amur Region which was rainy this month. The southern provinces of Hunan, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Sichuan and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region were severely harmed by incessant showers. The large-scale floods caused by them claimed the lives of people, destroyed houses and roads, and washed-out farming lands. The authorities of the country estimated the damages due to this natural disaster at hundreds of millions of dollars. The monthly precipitation totals in individual regions of these territories where 2-3 times the normal values or more. Showers flooded the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. The daily precipitation in its outermost southern part exceeded 320 mm, i.e., three buckets of water per square metre. New record-breaking precipitation totals for July were observed in this region.
In South-East Asia, the total monthly precipitation amounts reached or exceeded their normal value in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines, and were less than this value in Thailand and Malaysia.
India was dominated by the summer monsoon, and rains flooded the country. The monthly precipitation totals in some places were 1.5-2.0 or more times higher than the normal values. Heavy showers washed-out the roads and resulted in fatalities. By estimates of Indian meteorologists, the monsoon this year would be one of the strongest over the last ten years. Rains covered neighbouring mountain Nepal as well where showers caused the descent of mountain torrents and the landslides, leaving dozens of people dead.
Central Asia and the Near and Middle East received almost no rains. Only a number of small regions in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan earned a modest quantity of atmospheric moisture.
No rains were observed in the North Africa states as well. The amounts of rainwater were normal or increased in the areas to the south of the Sahara only.
In most of Europe, the climate was arid in July. A quarter to half of the normal precipitation amount was recorded in the Scandinavian countries, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, the Benelux and the north of France. The figures were normal and, in places, increased in the northern regions of Spain and Italy, and in individual territories of the Balkan countries and of Greece. At the end of July, heavy showers passed across the north of Italy and caused river floods and spates. Fatal accidents and massive destructions were reported.
The precipitation was abundant in Canada. In the south and in the central or northern regions of the country, its monthly totals exceeded the normal value by 1.5-2.0 times or more. The lack of precipitation was only noticeable in the Province of Yukon in the west and in the Province of Quebec in the south-east of Canada. In a large part of the US, the precipitation was also scarce, especially in the south and the west of the country; the same was true for neighbouring Mexico. In the regions from the northern states of Montana and Wyoming to the Great Lakes, the amounts of precipitation were normal or increased.
In Moscow, 69 mm of rain fell in July. This is 73% of the normal value.