Air Temperature

The weather in Russia remained abnormally warm for almost the entire month. The average air temperatures in each of the three decades were above-normal; negative anomalies were observed only during the second one in the south of Siberia, in Kolyma and in Chukotka: frosts in the central regions of Chukotka were as cold as -42 to -48° sometimes. Still, the decade-averaged temperatures exceeded their normal values by 6-10° in the European Territory of Russia, and by 6-12° in the Asian Territory. As a result, the monthly-averaged air temperatures turned out to be higher than normal throughout the country: in fact, 4-8° higher in most of it. New daily temperature maxima were recorded in Central Russia, in the southern areas including the Volgograd and Astrakhan Regions, Krasnodar Territory and the Republic of North Ossetia, as well as in Yakutia where the air warmed up to -4° right in the middle of winter. The average air temperature of February was the sixth highest among those recorded from 1891 to 2020. February 2020 was 1.5° warmer, and was still recognised as the warmest one in Russia. In Central Russia, the monthly-averaged air temperature amounted to +0.4°, positive for the seventh time in 132 years of regular meteorological observations.
Eventually, this winter became the fourth warmest in the meteorological chronicle of Russia; only the winters of 2020, 2016 and 2015 were even warmer. The air temperatures averaged for this winter were higher than normal almost everywhere: by four or more degrees in the south of the ETR, in the Urals, in the south and west of Siberia and the south of the Far East, and by 4-6° or more in the Arctic. The extreme east of Chukotka was the only region where the past winter was somewhat colder than usual.
In most of East Asia, the average air temperature in February was close to normal: in the north of China and Japan, against the background of its positive anomalies reaching +1-2° in some locations, while in the south of China, against the background of negative yet small ones. Severe colds were observed in Taiwan where new daily temperature minima were recorded on the twenties of February in a number of locations. In general, the monthly-averaged air temperature in China was approximately normal.
Likewise, the monthly averages were close to normal in the countries of South-East Asia, as well as in most of India where the normal values were exceeded by some 1-2° in the north-west of the country only, along the border with Pakistan. The same anomalies, or slightly higher ones, were observed throughout Pakistan. The weather in Bangladesh was 1-3° colder than usual.
In Central Asia, the monthly-averaged temperatures were noticeably higher than normal: by 4-9° in Kazakhstan, 4-6° in Turkmenistan, 3-6° in Uzbekistan and 2-5° in Kyrgyzstan.
In most of the Near and Middle East, the recorded anomalies of monthly-averaged air temperatures were +1-3°. In North Africa, the February averages of air temperatures were about normal, on a positive background in most of the territory, the anomalies reaching +2° in some places in the north-west. But in the central part of the continent, this background changed to negative one.
Almost everywhere on the European continent, this February was markedly warmer than usual. The February air temperature averaged over the continent entered the Top Ten highest values in the history of meteorological observations. In most countries, the monthly-averaged air temperatures were 2-4° higher than normal, yet did not reach record-breaking values anywhere apart from Ukraine and Moldova where new daily maxima of air temperatures were set.
The weather in most of the USA and Canada was cold in February, with the anomalies of monthly-averaged air temperature as low as -1…-4°. The areas where it was warmer than usual only included those along the east coast of the US, the south of Alaska and the west of the Canadian province of Yukon (with anomalies of +2-4°). In terms of the overall monthly figures, this February was colder than normal in Canada, and about normal in the USA.
Abnormal warmth still persisted in the Arctic: there, the monthly-averaged temperature turned out to be almost 3° higher than normal in February.
The average air temperature in the Northern Hemisphere was ranked the fourth to sixth highest among the ones ever observed before.
In most of the Northern Hemisphere, this winter was abnormally warm. Above-normal air temperatures were recorded almost all over the Eurasian continent, in the Arctic, and in most of the USA and Mexico, whereas subnormal ones, partially in Canada, Alaska and Chukotka, as well as in certain regions of India and North Africa, -- yet, they were just slightly lower than normal everywhere. It was the 5th--8th warmest winter in the history of meteorological observations.
In Moscow, the average temperature in February was -0.9°, corresponding to the anomaly of +6.8°. It was the 6th warmest February in the meteorological annals of the capital.

Sea Surface Temperature

This February, the average SST in both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean in the Northern Hemisphere reproduced the absolute maxima dated 2004, even though La Niña, i.e., the cold episode of the Southern Oscillation, continued growing in strength at the equatorial latitudes of the Pacific Ocean. Abnormally cold water in the latter Ocean was also observed along the coast of North America and in the western part of the central water area. But the anomalies over a much larger part of the ocean surface were positive, and exceeded +1-2° or more.
In the Atlantic Ocean, positive SST anomalies up to +1° and more in places were also observed almost throughout the entire water area. The water bodies off the coast of North America, along the eastern coast of Greenland, and partly in the Norwegian and Greenland Seas were the only ones to exhibit subnormal SST values.


In the ETR, a lot of precipitation fell in February. Heavy snowfalls bringing more than 60 mm of daily precipitation to some places hit the Kuban region: no such abundance of snow as in this winter has been seen since 1961 there. Pouring rains caused a landslide in Sochi. During the month, daily maxima of precipitation totals were recorded in Karelia, in the Murmansk Region, in the Nenets Autonomous District, in Bashkiria and in the Volga Region. One and a half of the normal precipitation quantity fell in a single day in some places. The normal monthly figure was reached or surpassed everywhere in the North-West Federal District, and exceeded by more than twice in Karelia as well as in the Leningrad and Kaliningrad Regions. In the Central Federal District, the precipitation amounts were subnormal in the Kursk and Tula Regions only, and were either normal or above-normal in the rest of the territory. In the Volga Federal District, the monthly totals were greater than normal in all subjects of the Federation and twice greater than normal in the Republics of Mari El and Udmurtia as well as in the Ulyanovsk, Samara, Saratov and Penza Regions. Normal or above-normal figures were reached in the Southern Federal District; the North Caucasian Federal District was the only one where precipitation was scarce in February. The normal value was reached in North Ossetia only, and was not achieved elsewhere.
Precipitation was normal in the Urals, but very varied in its distribution over the vast spaces of Siberia. Specifically, the monthly precipitation totals reached their normal value in the Tomsk, Omsk and Novosibirsk Regions, in the south of the Krasnoyarsk Territory as well as in Evenkiya and Taimyr in the north, but were much less than normal in the rest of the territory, especially in the Republics of Khakassia and Tyva.
Precipitation in the Far East was normal or increased in Buryatia, on Sakhalin and in the Jewish Autonomous Region only, but surprisingly deficient in all other Far-Eastern areas. Heavy snowfalls took place on the Kuril Islands and in the south-west of Yakutia where the daily precipitation totals would almost reach the normal monthly amount.
In overall, the normal seasonal precipitation figures for winter were either achieved or exceeded in most of Russia. The only areas to receive less precipitation were the Khabarovsk and Primorye Territories in the east of the country, and some parts of Kolyma and Chukotka.
Precipitation was lacking in Mongolia and in the north-east of China where it was altogether absent in some regions. The rest of China received it in normal or larger quantities, especially the southern and western provinces where the normal values were overridden by 2-4 times. Heavy snowfalls took place on the island of Hokkaido in the north of Japan and continued for the second decade of the month and for the beginning of the third decade, bringing 60-100 cm of snow per day to some locations. In Sapporo, more than 40 mm of snow fell in 12 hours to set up a new record-breaking score in the entire history of meteorological observations.
A lot of rain went to the countries of South-East Asia. The normal monthly precipitation amounts in Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar were exceeded by 2-4 or more times in places. Daily rainwater amounts exceeded 400 mm in some locations and led to floods that required hundreds of thousands of people to be evacuated. Torrential rains hit Indonesia and caused floods along with landslides. Up to 80 mm of atmospheric moisture could fall per day in places.
The weather in India and Pakistan was mostly dry. Heavy snowfalls occurred in the north of India with 60 mm of snow in the plains and more than a metre in the mountains, disrupting railway transportation and damaging power transmission lines. Downpours that pelted in Bangladesh brought 30-45 mm of rainwater in twelve hours, comparable to three to seven times the normal monthly precipitation amount.
In the Near and Middle East, the weather was also dry in general, but some of occasional showers were quite heavy. Downpours hit the south of Turkey and brought up to 40-60 mm of rainwater per day amounting to half the normal monthly figure. In Israel, showers caused floods in the Dead Sea area. The unprecedented quantities of daily precipitation in Muscat, the capital of Oman, were as large as 55 mm, a half of the annual total. Waves rolled over the streets of the city, leading to human fatalities.
The precipitation amounts were up to 1.5-2.0 times the normal value in the northern regions of Kazakhstan, but scarce in its south and in the republics of Central Asia. At the beginning of the month, Alma-Ata was covered by snow: there, the height of the freshly fallen snow reached 10-12 cm.
Dry weather with almost no precipitation settled in North Africa. On the Mediterranean coast, Egypt and Libya were the only countries to receive normal amounts of precipitation,
In February, the Azores anticyclone penetrated to the east as far as the western border of the Ukraine. For this reason, precipitation from the Atlantic to Eastern Europe was scarce. Yet, occasional downpours did take place. Torrential rains in the north of France and in Belgium led to floods, caused power supply interruptions and blocked railway as well as motor roads. In the south of France, the weather remained dry since the beginning of the year, with the last rain observed on December 27 of the previous year. Such a lengthy winter drought occurs once in ten years in this region. A lot of rain went to the countries of Northern Europe where the normal rainfall amounts were exceeded by 1.5-2.0 and more times. Up to 20-30 mm of precipitation fell in the UK and in Norway per day in some places.
In the US, the weather was dry all the way from the Pacific Ocean to Missouri and Arkansas. Almost no precipitation was observed on the west coast. In California and Nevada, this February was the driest one in the history of meteorological observations. The amounts of atmospheric moisture were normal or increased in the east, in the north-east and in the region of the Great Lakes only, 2.0-2.5 times the normal values in some places. The distribution of precipitation was more diverse in Canada: close to or greater than normal in the south or in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta in the west, and notably less than that in the east and north-east of the country as well as along the Pacific coast. In Toronto, up to 30 cm of snow fell in one night. In this city, it was the heaviest snowfall for the last few years. The weather in most of Mexico was dry. Heavy rains in the Dominican Republic and in Columbia caused floods and landslides, and claimed the lives of people.
In Moscow, the total precipitation amounts were: 41 mm for February, which is close to normal, and 178 mm for the whole winter, which is the tenth highest value in the ranking list since 1891.