Air temperature

The New Year 2022 in Russia started with abnormally warm weather in most of the country. In the first decade of January, daily temperature maxima were updated in the Volgograd, Astrakhan and Rostov Regions and the Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories in the south of the ETR, as well as in the South Urals and the south-west of Western Siberia, in Yakutia and in the north-east of the country. In Chukotka, the midwinter air heated up to above 0° sometimes. The air temperature averaged for the first decade exceeded the normal value by 4 to 10 degrees in Kolyma, Chukotka, Kamchatka and the most of ETR; yet, abnormally cold weather prevailed in some other areas at the same time, namely, in the Arctic territories from the Kola Peninsula to Taimyr, in the south of the Far East and in the south-east of Yakutia. There, the temperature anomalies for the first decade were -2…-4°.
Everything changed in the second decade. Arctic colds dashed into Russia, the decade-averaged temperatures almost everywhere from the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean measured two to six degrees below the normal values, and anomalous heat survived in the south of Siberia only (in Khakassia, and in the southern regions of Buryatia and of the Irkutsk Region).
In the third decade, heat returned to Russia. All around the country save for its north-east, the decade-averaged temperature anomalies were positive, with up to +10…15° in the north.
As a result, heat overcame cold in monthly terms: the monthly-averaged air temperatures were higher than normal in all areas excluding Chukotka, 4-8° higher in the north of the ETR, in the Urals, in most of Siberia, in Kamchatka and in some regions of the Khabarovsk Territory. Chukotka, with frosts reaching as low as -45°, was the only exception where this month was colder than normal – by some 1-3°.
The average temperature of January in Russia was the sixth highest in the ranking list since 1891. It was 2.3° lower than in the warmest January 2007.
This temperature was 2-3° higher than normal in Mongolia and Northern China, and close to normal in the rest of China and its neighbouring Japan and Korean Peninsula. The air temperature in Tokyo dropped to -3° at the beginning of the month. It was 19 years since such cold weather had been observed there before.
In the countries of South-East Asia, this month turned out to be 1-2° warmer than normal.
In India, the weather was colder than usual: no surprise anymore as every other January in the XXI century has been like this.
In the Near and Middle East, warm weather prevailed in January, even though the monthly-averaged temperature was significantly above normal in the north of Iran only (with anomalies of up to +2°) and approximately normal elsewhere. The normal figures in the Levant countries were achieved against a negative background. Sometimes, the colds penetrated far to the south. In Saudi Arabia, the temperature decreased to -6° in the middle of the month and reached the lowest value in the country for the last thirty years.
The weather in Central Asia was very warm. The monthly averages of air temperatures in January were higher than normal everywhere: 2-4 degrees higher in Turkmenistan, and 3-5 or more degrees higher in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
North Africa was hit by unexpectedly cold weather. In Egypt, this January was the coldest one in the last ten years. The air temperature was subnormal in Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Mali and Niger. The weather warmer than usual was only observed in the south and especially in the south-west, in the countries on the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea, two or more degrees warmer in some places.
January in most of Europe from Scandinavia to the Balkans was very warm. New daily temperature maxima were recorded in many countries of the continent, for several days in succession at times. Some of these maxima became new absolute ones for January. The normal monthly-averaged temperatures were exceeded by 2° or more in a sizeable part of the continent, or by 3-5° in the Scandinavian and Baltic countries, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Romania. The weather colder than usual, though slightly colder anyway, was only observed in the south (in Italy, in the southern France and partly in Spain). At the end of the month, colds came to Central and Eastern Europe. In Hungary, Lake Balaton was ice-locked.
In the north-eastern US and south-eastern Canada, cold weather dominated all the month, with the anomalies of monthly-averaged temperature as low as -2…-4°. In the rest parts of these countries, the average temperatures in January were higher than normal, by 2 or more degrees in some locations, or by 2-4 or more degrees in the Arctic territories of Canada. Frosts in the Canadian province of Yukon could reach -50° or below, whereas the air in Texas heated up to +37°, an unprecedented value for this time of year. The weather in Mexico was very hot: the normal temperatures were exceeded by two or more degrees in most of the country, and a new absolute maximum of temperature in January equal to +41.7° was established not only for Mexico alone, but for the entire North American continent as well. On the last day of January, the record-breaking cold temperature of +2.8° was measured in Cuba. This value was a new absolute minimum of temperature in the country.
As for the Northern Hemisphere in overall, January 2022 became the sixth warmest in the history of meteorological observations since 1891.
In Moscow, the monthly-averaged temperature of January was -5.4°, corresponding to the anomaly of +3.9°.

Sea Surface Temperature

La Niña in the Pacific Ocean grew stronger. The area occupied by negative SST anomalies increased, its range spreading from 10N to 35S. In certain locations of this water area, negative anomalies reached two or more degrees. The location of the second vast water area occupied by negative anomalies was the same as in December, i.e., along the coasts of the USA and Canada as far as the Bering Strait. In some places of the latter area, negative anomalies reached one or more degrees. In the centre of the Ocean and along the Asian coast, positive SST anomalies prevailed and exceed +2…3° or more in certain locations.
Almost the entire surface of the Atlantic Ocean in the Northern Hemisphere was occupied by positive anomalies. They exceeded +1…3° in the Gulf of Mexico and along the south-eastern coast of the USA. The average SST anomaly regained its absolute maximum first recorded in 2002. Small water areas of negative SST anomalies were located at the junction of waters between the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean.


In the ETR, the January precipitation totals in the vast majority of constituent entities of the Federation either reached the normal values, or exceeded them: remarkably, by more than twice in the constituent entities of the Central, Volga and South Federal Districts. The record-breaking daily totals were measured in the Nizhny Novgorod, Smolensk and Pskov Regions, in the Krasnodar Territory, and in the Crimea. The monthly precipitation amounts were sub-normal in three republics of the North Caucasian Federal District only (in Dagestan, Chechen and Ingush Republics).
In the Urals, the precipitation amounts were roughly normal. In Siberia, they were less than normal in the southern regions only, namely, in the Altai Territory and in the Republics of Khakassia and Tyva, and were normal in the rest of the territory. In the Far East, the normal values were exceeded by 2 times in Buryatia and 1.5 times in the Magadan Region, but were not reached in the south of this territory: in the Amur Region, in the coastal and southern regions of the Khabarovsk Territory, as well as in Buryatia and Chukotka. Ample precipitation covered Sakhalin: one and a half times the normal snow amount fell in three days in the middle of the month.
In China, a lot of precipitation (3-4 times the normal amount) in the east of the country contrasted sharply with almost none at all in the western provinces. January was equally dry in the Korean Peninsula and in the south of Japan. The precipitation figures were normal on the northern islands of Honshu and Hokkaido. Snowfall descended upon Tokyo for the first time in the last four years, and brought more than 10 cm of snow in twelve hours.
The precipitation quantities in the countries of South-East Asia were either normal or increased. Torrential rains started flooding Malaysia and Indonesia on the first days of the New Year, in some locations, bringing up to 300 mm of atmospheric moisture in two days and resulting in numerous floods and damages. The fatalities were reported.
Heavy snowfalls hit the north of Pakistan, and showers that caused floods took place in its southern province of Balochistan where more than 100 mm of precipitation fell in a few days although the monthly total is not typically greater than 10 mm. The normal amounts of precipitation in January were exceeded by 3-5 or more times in this region of the country. Precipitation was normal in the rest of Pakistan as well as in the northern and central parts of India, and almost completely absent in the south of India.
The Pakistan's neighbouring country, Afghanistan, was also targeted by heavy rains that resulted in flooding. Precipitation was abundant in the other countries of Central Asia as well. The monthly totals in the western Kazakhstan, in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan were overridden by 2-3 or more times in places. Precipitation was scarce in the east of Kazakhstan and its adjacent Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan only.
Rains in Iran poured since the first days of the year. They caused floods and mudflows that affected thousands of people. But the most serious trouble in the Near and Middle East this January was snowfalls: in Turkey, they were deemed the heaviest in the last 54 years. The height of the snow cover grew by 0.5-1.0 metres per day. In the Antalya resort, snow fell for the first time in 50 years. Snowfalls passed over Lebanon, Israel and Jordan. Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was covered with a snowy blanket up to 15-25 cm thick. At the end of the month, snowfalls hit the north and west of Iran for the first time in more than twenty years. The precipitation amounts in most of this region were normal, or above normal in some places.
The north of Africa (Egypt, Libya and Morocco) was also targeted by snowfalls. In these countries, the normal precipitation amounts were reached in some regions or exceeded in other ones. But eventually, January in North Africa was dry with almost no precipitation observed.
In most of Europe that was shielded under the umbrella of the Azores anticyclone, the weather was dry. The only areas to attain normal precipitation figures were Germany and the east of the continent: Poland, Belarus and the Baltic countries. Yet, occasional heavy rains and snowfalls would always happen. For instance, downpours in the south-west of France boosted the levels of rivers to record-breaking marks. In certain places, 155 mm of rainwater fell in 36 hours where the normal monthly value should have been 115 mm. Powerful snowfalls were observed in Finland and Estonia where up to 10-15 mm of precipitation accumulated on some days. The situation in Greece and Bulgaria was similar: the thickness of the snow cover in Sofia reached 20 mm. On the Black Sea coast, the well-known resort called Sunny Beach was jokingly renamed Snow Beach alluding to a wealth of snow covering the coast. In Portugal, a drought due to a total lack of rains could be catastrophic for the agricultural production this year.
The eastern coast of the US from Georgia to Maine was a victim of snowfalls up to 50 cm of snow each day in places. The same occurred in Quebec and Ontario in the east of Canada, but the amounts of snow were even greater, up to 70 cm per day. The snow blizzard repeated its onslaught in the last days of the month to produce 30-60 cm of daily snow cover in the east of the continent again. The monthly precipitation rate was normal in the east of the US and in the centre of Canada, but deficient in the rest of these countries, notably on the Pacific coast of the USA.
In Moscow, 70 mm of atmospheric moisture accumulated this month, amounting to 167% of the normal monthly figure. As a result, this January occupies the last position in the Top Ten of the wettest ones in the meteorological chronicle of the capital.