The 2014 Winter Olympics are under way in the city of Sochi, Russia. Many of us think of a brutally cold and snowy Russia during the winter months. This is true for the most part, but Russia is the world’s largest country in terms of land area (approximately 6.5 million square miles), and the climate varies greatly across such a large area.
Sandwiched between the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains of southwestern Russia, Sochi is roughly as far north as Wisconsin Dells. However, due to its location in southeastern Europe along the Black Sea, it has a climate that is much different from Wisconsin Dells. Palm trees line the streets of Sochi year-round!
2 Major United States Climate Zones
Sochi has a humid subtropical climate, generally characterized by hot, humid summers and mild winters. Humid subtropical climates are often found on the southeastern side of continents and also near coastlines. The southeastern United States, parts of southeast China, southern Brazil & northern Argentina, the east coast of Australia, and the areas near the Adriatic and Black Seas all have a humid subtropical climate. Compare this to our local climate, humid continental, where we have hot, humid summers and cold winters.
Sochi’s Subtropical Climate
A typical February day in Sochi sees a low of 37°F and a high of 50°F. For the entire year, the average low is 51°F and average high is 66°F with about 60 inches of precipitation. A comparable American city is Virginia Beach, believe it or not! Virginia Beach’s average low is 52°F and average high is 68°F with about 50 inches of precipitation. Looking at the data for Rockford, the average low is 39°F and average high is 59°F with about 35 inches of precipitation during a year.
As with any climate zone, there will be some differences depending on latitude, longitude, elevation, and natural features such as large bodies of water. Sochi is near the Caucasus Mountains, so the higher elevations where the outdoor Olympic events take place tend to be colder. In this case, by about 10 to 15 degrees.
The forecast for Sochi includes above average high temperatures over the next few days. Temperatures will reach the 60s near the coast and 40s in the mountains. A few rain showers are possible Friday and Saturday, putting a damper on the snow cover. Russia plans to use their 400,000 tons of snow reserves from other parts of the country to help combat the melting snow in Sochi.
Posted under 13 Climate Authority, snow, statistics, travel, weather, winter weather
This post was written by Joe Astolfi on February 12, 2014