The Detroit Post
Wednesday, 01 December, 2021

How Is Ukraine Weather

Paul Gonzalez
• Saturday, 12 December, 2020
• 9 min read

In much of Ukraine, the climate is continental, with freezing winters and warm summers, which become progressively warmer as you move towards the south. The southern area, which overlooks the Black Sea, has a slightly milder weather in winter, but we cannot speak of Mediterranean climate (the winter is cold anyway), except on the southern coast of the Crimean Peninsula (see Yalta).

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However, winter is not dry, since precipitation in this season is not abundant but it's quite frequent, and often occurs in the form of light snow. In the Black Sea region, precipitation is even scarcer, below 500 mm (20 in) per year, since summer thunderstorms occur more rarely.

The only area that is quite rainy is the western one, in the Carpathian Mountains, where precipitation reaches 1,200 mm (47 in) per year, in addition to the small area of the Crimean Mountains, where it can reach 1,000 mm (40 in). To the west of the Carpathians, there is another flat area, though small, where precipitation exceeds 700 mm (27.5 in) per year.

The only mountainous area of some importance is found in the west, south of Lviv, where there's a portion of the aforementioned Carpathian Mountains, which reaches its highest point in Mount Hoverla, 2,061 meters (6,762 feet) high. Winter is cold in much of Ukraine : the average temperatures are below freezing (0 °C or 32 °F), except in the most sheltered areas of Crimea.

Going south, the temperature increases a little, but remains below freezing in inland areas. Snow covers Kiev for about 80 days per year (which were about one hundred in the previous decades, when the climate was colder).

The coldest periods are those in which the Siberian Anticyclone settles in the country: in these situations, the temperature can drop to -30 °C (-22 °F) or even below. Anyway, periods of severe cold are still possible, although, in comparison with the past, they are less frequent and tend to be shorter.

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In March, the snow melts in continental areas, which turns into mud and can make it difficult to travel on rural roads. In April, the first warm days occur, though they can be followed by the return of cold weather, with possible snow and frosts.

In summer, the inland regions are sometimes affected by disturbances of Atlantic origin or by cool air masses from the north, so the average temperature is lower than in the regions overlooking the sea, but the former are also subject to heat waves, which last a few days and can raise the temperature to 35 °C (95 °F) or more. The sun in Kiev is rarely seen from November to February, while in summer, it shines quite often.

In the north-west, in Lviv, the climate is a bit less warm in the summer, since it is located at 300 meters (1,000 feet) above sea level. The Black Sea, cold in winter, becomes acceptable for swimming in July and August, while it is a bit cool in June and September.

In the east, the Sea of Azov, more closed and sheltered, is a bit warmer in summer. However, in winter, the Crimean Peninsula and the Sea of Azov are affected by cold winds, sometimes violent.

The only relatively mild area in winter is the south coast of the peninsula (see Yalta), south of the Crimean Mountains: these mountains partially protect the coast from the cold northern wind, which turns into a down-slope, dry and relatively warm wind. Since hot days can occur in July and August, you can opt for the two periods, mid-May to late June and the first half of September, in order to avoid heat waves, which may occur in midsummer especially the south-central and in the east of the country; however, those who can stand the heat can go in July and August as well.

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The best time for a beach holiday in the Black Sea Coast is the mid-summer period (July and August), when you will find sunny and warm weather, tempered by sea breezes, with a few rainy days. In winter : pack very warm clothes, such as a sweater or fleece, a down jacket, a fur hat, gloves, and a scarf.

For Malta, pack a sweater, a jacket, a raincoat or umbrella, and a scarf and earmuffs for the wind. In summer : in Lviv, pack spring/autumn clothes, being ready to add or remove the outer layer, and an umbrella.

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