The enormous size of Russia and the remoteness of many regions from the sea lead to the predominance of a humid continental climate, which prevails in all parts of the country except for the tundra and the extreme south-east. The mountains in the south hinder the influx of warm air masses from the Indian Ocean, while the plains in the west and north make the country open to Arctic and Atlantic influences.
Most of Russia and northern Europe’s Siberia has a subarctic climate, with extremely harsh winters in the interior regions of north-eastern Siberia (particularly in the Sakha Republic, where the cold north pole is located with a record temperature of -71.2°C) and more temperate winters elsewhere.
The coastal part of the Krasnodar Krai on the Black Sea, especially in Sochi, has a humid subtropical climate with mild, wet winters. In many parts of Eastern Siberia and the Far East, the winter is dry compared to the summer; in other parts of the country, rainfall is more regular over the seasons. Winter precipitation falls mainly in the form of snow in most parts of the country. The region along the lower Volga River and the Caspian Sea coast, as well as parts of southern Siberia, have a semi-arid climate.
In much of the country, there are only two distinct seasons – winter and summer – as spring and autumn are usually short periods of alternating extremely low and extremely high temperatures. The coldest month is January (February on the coast), and the hottest is usually July. Large fluctuations in temperature are typical. In winter, temperatures become colder from south to north and from west to east. Summers can be very hot, even in Siberia. The interior of the continent is the driest area.