Natural Zones And Climate
The coastal part of Kronotsky Reserve belongs to the Eastern-Kamchatka forest-shrub, tundra-marsh ecological region of Primorye, while the remainder of the territory is part of the Eastern alpine-tundra-shrub, mountain-volcanic ecological region, close to the forest-tundra of Beringia. Generally, the landscape of the reserve can be called mountain-forest. The diversity of its landscapes gives a nearly full representation of Kamchatka’s nature. Within the reserve, one can find most types of ecosystems distinctive for Kamchatka.
The climate in the Kronotsky Reserve is typical for central areas of Eastern Kamchatka and is determined by circumpolar processes developing in the Bering Sea.
In areas close to the ocean, WINTER lasts from November through March and is rather mild. The average temperature in January and February is not below -9°С. Hardly ever does the average daily temperature drop below -20°С. However, in the foothills of the Valaginsky Ridge, nighttime temperatures as low as -50°С have been recorded. High winds are common with an average speed of 10 meters/second; gales can reach 34–40 meters/second. Precipitation is abundant and wet snow or sleet is common. The total precipitation per month is 150–200 mm, and sometimes over 500 mm. Heavy snowfalls dump 50 mm and sometimes as much as 150 mm of snow. Snowstorms are frequent and prolonged (40–60 days of winter). This leads to high levels of snow cover. Snow cover can last for 180–220 days a year in areas protected from sun and wind.
SPRING lasts from April to June, and is cool and prolonged. Temperatures rise above freezing in late April, and rise over +5 °С in late May or early June. The weather is variable. Breeze circulation is common in the spring, leading to drops in temperature and fog. For this reason, the average temperature in May is +4–6°С, the precipitation level is about 60–100 mm per month, and the wind speed decreases to 3–6 meters/second, but gales can still reach 34 meters/second. The vegetative period usually begins in the third week of May, but on the slopes of thermal watersheds, it can begin in late March.
SUMMER lasts from July to the first half of September and is relatively warm. The average temperature in the warmest month of the year (August) is +12–13°С, with days where temperatures can reach over +25 °С. The frost-free period lasts about four months and no more than three months in areas further inland from the coast. Gentle winds are dominated by sea breeze wind circulation patterns. Rainfall is abundant with 100–200 mm per month. Fog very often covers coastal areas.
FALL lasts from the second part of September to the first half of November. Rainfall is frequent (125–165 mm per month), though dry and warm weather prevails. The average temperature in October is +4–5°С, and at midday can reach 8–9°С. The growing season extends into mid-September. The average wind speed reaches to 5–8 meters/second, and gales can reach 40 meters/second. The transition from stable sunny autumn weather to wet and windy winter weather is usually a dramatic one, but in some years, sunny weather lasts through the time when average temperatures dip below freezing in the first week of November.
The complex mountainous terrain of the area determines the heterogeneity of weather conditions in different areas. The sea coast and the orientation of ridges and mountains are the primary factors dictating weather conditions. In the mountains, the weather conditions are harsher with lower background temperatures, greater precipitation (especially in winter), stronger winds, and more changes of perilous natural phenomena, such as hurricanes, rain showers, and heavy and prolonged snowstorms. Did You Know more 244 species of birds, included rare and endagered species noted in the Red Books of Russia, the Far East, and Kamchatka, as well as the golden eagle, merlin, peregrine falcon and Aleutian tern, migrate through and winter on the Reserve territory. Virtual Tours