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Atmospheric temperature in the Khibiny

Kola Peninsula is exposed to the influence of Atlantic and Arctic weather conditions. A spicy storm of the Arctic and Atlantic air masses creates a special atmosphere in the region. The Khibiny mountains in the Kola Peninsula are unique by its climate. There are no similar weather conditions throughout the entire world. Weather difference strikes although regions are located in the same geographic latitude. Although the peninsula is situated in the high latitudes of the North, its climate differs by unusual mildness featured to northern regions of Russia. The reasons to it are the natural relief and vicinity of the Atlantic Ocean. The main factor in terms of relief is the Khibiny massif. Mountain elevation is not high but the influence on atmospheric process is great. It creates the climatic conditions as of arctic islands’ weather.

Atmospheric temperature in the Khibiny

The Khibiny mountains are noted for irregularity and «reversed» temperature rate of summer and winter seasons; change of polar day to polar night; dense cloud cover and, as a result, good solar radiation protection; slight soil evaporation; higher air humidity; wind blasts; abundant precipitation; rapid and sudden change of weather. Varied and intense climate of the Khibiny can seem mysterious for the first time. But in fact it is quite predictable.

Significant changes of weather can be explained by the major impact of the Arctic climate. Atmospheric fronts occur over the Arctic water and interchange by frequent cyclones. They pass over the Kola North area thus contributing to sudden warming or cold snap. There are a few days that are relatively quiet. Zoning of the peninsula provides for combination of opposite weather conditions in different parts of the region. Climate of the mountain plateau Lovchorr, as high as 1080 m above the sea level, is more severe than weather in Kirovsk town that is located considerably low.

The boundary between day and night in the Kola Peninsula is conventional. During summer it is light, the sun doesn’t dip below the horizon. In winter the polar day changes to prolong polar night that hides the sunlight. The polar night lasts from 10th December to 3d January. It is here the longest New Year’s night to celebrate.

Four seasons in the Kola Peninsula do not coincide with the typical perception of seasons’ change. The longest season is winter, at average it lasts for half a year. Winter cold comes in September or beginning of October and ends in March or April. The winter comes with first frosts and snow cover. It is peculiar of its duration rather than cold weather and record-breaking low temperature. Sometimes winter lasts 7-8 months prevailing over the territory of the region. Frosts keep even longer. In Kirovsk frosts step back only for 3-4 months, in Yukspor the temperature rises above zero for 2 months only. In mountain gorges where no sunlight, the soils are covered with frost all the year round. The first frosts may come in Kirovst already in August.

Ice melting during the day can be considered the beginning of spring. It lasts till end of May, in June the short summer comes. The northern summer is characterized by refreshing and changeable weather. The first summer days arrive when ice and snow are fully disappeared, frozen ground warmed. Long polar day starts in June. It lasts from 12th May till 19th of July. Polar day is not warm enough. The sun doesn’t protect the Khibiny against frost; low temperatures form ice crust on the ground. It’s all due to the cold air masses of the Arctic. In September regular frost appears, all is waiting for the winter to come back.

Let us draw your attention to the weather in towns of Kirovsk and Apatity. The distance between the towns is small, 10 kilometers only along a straight line, but due to difference of heights of about 200 meters the weather is various. So, Apatity town is on the height of 192 meters above the sea level, Kirovsk town is 387 meters above the sea level.

It is assumed that by climatic zone Kirovsk is located to the north than Apatity by 200 kilometers. Therefore, in Apatity it can be warm summer day and in Kirovsk it can be raining at the same time. And vice versa it can be bright frosty day in Apatity and snowstorm in Kirovsk.

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