Warm as never before

2011 among ten warmest years in Belarus, for whole history of meteorological observations

By Oleg Yeliseyev

Yelena Komarovskaya, the Head of the Republican Hydrometeorological Centre’s Climate Department, has noted during an online conference on the BELTA website that the average temperature in 2011 is likely to reach around +7 degrees (according to preliminary estimates): up one degree on the climatic norm. The average temperature exceeded this norm over the year, with a positive temperature anomaly observed in January, and then registered from March to November. The maximum positive temperature deviation from the climatic norm in January was +3 degrees while, in February, the temperature deviation was negative, standing at -2.1 degrees.

Over the year, precipitation fell irregularly, with the driest months being March, April, August, September, October and November. The others were wet or saw precipitation close to the norm. The wettest was July, when 50 percent more rainfall was seen than usual.

In summer, the average temperature stood at +18.9 degrees, exceeding the climatic norm by 2.1 degrees. Such a summer is observed in Belarus approximately once every 15 years. The average temperature in June was +18.7 degrees — up 2.5 degrees on the climatic norm; the average temperature in the first ten days of June was +21.2 degrees — up 5.7 degrees on the norm. It was the first time in the history of weather observations that the first ten days of June have been so warm. The maximum air temperature within that ten-day period reached 32 degrees on June 8th in Lyuban, and in Lyuban and Lelchitsy on June 9th. The second ten days of July were also the hottest this year, registering +22 degrees, exceeding the climatic norm by 4.1 degrees.

The number of days with a maximum air temperature of over +30 degrees this year totalled from 1 to 14, while from 1 to 6 days are usually registered. The highest temperature this year was registered in Zhitkovichi, on July 15th: +33.3 degrees.
279mm of precipitation fell in Belarus this summer — 114 percent of the seasonal climatic norm. The wettest was the Gomel Region, while the Vitebsk Region was the driest. Rain fell primarily in the form of showers, with a maximum daily amount of precipitation registered on July 19th, in Lyuban, and on August 17th, in Zhitkovichi: 61mm (over two thirds of the monthly norm).

Maximum wind gusts stood at 23m per second — registered on June 17th, at Shchuchin meteorological station, and on August 15th, at Vitebsk meteorological station. The largest hailstorm (with hail of a diameter of 15mm) fell in Polotsk, on June 11th.

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