To understand the climate in Kyiv is to get an appreciation of its natural conditions. Kyiv is spread on both banks in the middle of the Dnipro River, with ravines, hills, slopes, bodies of water and an abundance of greenery in the city. The city also lies on the border of two natural zones – the forests of Ukrainian Polissiya and the mixed forests and plains of Forest Steppe. It is elevated about 168 meters above sea level. As such, Kyiv is what some would consider as “climatically comfortable.” The weather conditions in the city are influenced for the most part by the main body of water of the Dnipro river, along with the reservoirs of Kyiv and Kaniv. The city also belongs to the north-western boundary of Ukraine’s agroclimatic zone (which includes Kamyanets, Podilsky, and Putvyl). It is temperately continental, or Mediterranean with warm summers and moderate winters. The mean annual temperature is between 12.5 degrees Celsius and 14 degrees Celsius.
There are distinct four seasons in a year with its accompanying weather patterns. January is the coldest month of the year and July is the warmest, with average temperatures of 19.2 degrees Fahrenheit (-7.1 degrees Celsius) for the former and 66.7 Fahrenheit (19.2 degrees Celsius) for the latter. The average wind speed in Kyiv is 2.7 meters per second. During the winter, temperatures can drop to -4 degrees Fahrenheit and typically starts in November up until April. Summer season is from May until September or continues until October. Summer temperatures can rise up to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (or 25 degrees Celsius).
Mild and temperate characterise Kyiv’s springs and falls. Spring usually lasts from March to May. There will be rare instances, however, when temperatures in March can drop to 24.8 degrees Fahrenheit or -4 degrees Celsius. In spring as well, Kyiv experiences hot dry winds and “black” storms strike. In late September, the city experiences autumn weather and it typically lasts until December. Fall in the city is sometimes referred to as Indian summer because of the presence of rain and the relatively mild temperature in the air along with relatively clear days.
On the average, Kyiv gets an annual amount of precipitation of 615 mm, or 51 mm per month. Moisture in the ground is formed mostly in the fall, winter and spring periods. The rainiest months are from April till July, followed by August through October. In July, Kyiv can get up to 13 days of rain. On average, there are 164 days per year with more than 0.1 mm of rainfall precipitation or 13.7 days with a quantity of rain, sleet or snow per month . The balance of humidity and moisture content of the area is impacted by the relative humidity of the air. The average annual relative humidity is at 75.9 percent and average monthly relative humidity ranges from 63 percent in May to 88 percent in December.
The snowiest months on the other hand are from December right through March. January being the coldest month of the year also sees the most number of days with snowfall (average of 9 days). During this month the whole of Kyiv gets blanketed with snow. The thickness of the snow blanket depends on a number of factors: the features of the terrain, the amount of precipitation, the direction and speed of the wind and the stability of the blanket of snow. There are an average of 66 days per year with frost in Kyiv and in January – the coldest month, there is an average of 19 days of frost. During cold spells, there is a northeasterly airstream pushing the temperatures down so a sudden drop is not a surprise.
There are an average of 1843 hours of sunlight per year with an average of five hours of sunlight per day. The months of January and December also see the least number of hours with sunlight (one), and July has the longest daylight time, or average sunlight hours (10).
Sometimes, adverse climatic incidences occur in Kyiv. There are thunderstorms typically happening in the summer time, with hail and rainstorm rare but naturally occurring companions to it. Droughts can also happen during the spring, autumn and especially summer seasons. These occur every two to three years and cause damage to the area’s agriculture inasmuch as the hailstorms and rainstorms do. There are also dust storms and dry winds.