Climate of Ukraine

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).


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).


In spring, both the temperature and the sunshine hours grow rapidly. 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. By May, the temperatures generally start to become permanently pleasant, especially in the second part.


Summer in Ukraine is warm and quite sunny, with possible thunderstorms, which are more likely in the center-north. Maximum temperatures in July are around 25 °C (77 °F) in the far north (see Chernihiv) and 26 °C (79 °F) in the north (see Kiev), while they reach 27/28 °C (81/82 °F) in the south (see Dnipro) and on the coast of the Black Sea (see Odessa). The summer on the Black Sea Coast, especially in Crimea, is similar to that of the northern coast of the Mediterranean (French Riviera, Liguria), although the rains are a bit more frequent, around 5/6 days per month. 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.


In autumn, the temperature decreases rapidly. September is still a pleasant month in the Black Sea area, with highs around 23 °C (73 °F), while the north it's already cool, with highs around 18/19 °C (64/66 °F). Sometimes, it can get cold, with the first snowfalls, already in October, however, the turning point occurs in November, when it starts to get cold across the country, and the sunshine becomes scarce as well.