Olympic WeatherFebruary 11th, 2014 at 1:26 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Here’s the forecast for Sochi. As you can see, temperatures peak this Thurs./Fri. in the mid-upper 50s at the weather station down at the Black Sea, where they have palm trees (at the Winter Olympics!). The picture on the right shows there’s plenty of snow in the mountains where the ski events are taking place 30 miles to the east. Here’s a map that shows Sochi relative to the rest of Europe. Russia is BIG, not only the biggest country on Earth, but it contains 1/8th of the world’s inhabited land. It stretches across 9 time zones. (we have 4 times zones in the contiguous U.S.). Russian temperature extremes run from +109.4F to -90F (at Verkoyansk in Siberia). Sochi has a relatively warm and wet climate, with mid-winter afternoon temperatures around 50 in January by the Black Sea. Sochi gets about 59″ of precipitation per year (West Michigan about 37″). While Sochi is relatively warm now, the mountains to the east between the Black Sea and the Caspian sea always have snow in winter. Mt. Elbrus rises to 18,510 feet above sea level, more than 4,000 feet higher than the highest mountains in Colorado and the highest mountain in Europe and Mt. Elbrus is covered by snow even in the summer. In Siberia, the town of Oymyakon had a low temperature of -74F on Feb. 1. Verkoyansk had 5 days from Feb. 2-6 with low temperatures between -71F and -73F. On Feb. 9th, they got all the way up to 7 above zero – which was 50 degrees warmer than average! So, the Siberian tundra can see some huge temperature swings. Overall, everyone seems pleased with the Olympic weather in Sochi. (pictures from Jack Doles).