The climate in Irkutsk region is not called harsh for nothing. Travel guidebooks describe it as sharply continental. Let us explain what that really means and how you should prepare to face it in your travels.
Winter in Irkutsk
If you want to experience true Siberia winter, if you dream of walking on hard clear ice of Lake Baikal, come to Irkutsk Oblast in winter.
Each year’s winter is different. Sometimes, it gets as cold as −35 °C (−31 °F). Sometimes, the winters are warm and the daytime temperature is just −2 °C to −10 °C (from 28.4 °F to 14 °F).
The average daily temperature in winter is −14 °C (6,8°F) to −21 °C (−5,8°F), though. Irkutsk winter is always snowy and the blizzards are frequent.
This time of year, you’ll need warm clothes and boots. Be sure to pack up a down jacket, some sweaters, fur boots and a winter hat.
When you come to Irkutsk, buy some woolen socks and mittens – they’ll become your trusty companions in battling the cold. They also make fine souvenirs. You’ll find them near the Central Market on 22, Chekhov St..
If you want to see Irkutsk spring, come to the city some time from early April to late May. There will still be some snow, but the air will be warm and fresh. By the end of May, the trees will start growing their first leaves and the forests around Lake Baikal will be pink with blooming rhododendrons.
The daytime temperature in spring is 0 °C to +12 °C (32 °F to 53.6 °F), though at night, the weather might remain winter cold.
If you’re traveling in spring, you should take trekking shoes and a warm jacket. A sweater and a winter hat will also prove themselves useful.
The summer sun in Irkutsk will be burning hot most of the time, sometimes hiding away behind the clouds to let the rain and even an occasional hailstorm through. This kind of weather is normal in July and June. August usually gets colder as the temperature decreases and the rain keep falling for days.
Average summer temperatures range from +20 °C to +25 °C (68 °F to 77 °F). On hot days, the temperature might rise up to +30 °C (86 °F).
If you’re traveling in summer, take light cotton clothes, some hats and comfortable summer shoes or sandals. The nights might get cold, so don’t forget warm pants and a sweatshirt. Pack waterproof shoes and a raincoat or an umbrella for rainy weather, too.
The best time to enjoy the perfection of Siberian fall is from the beginning of September until the middle of October. This is the time when the days are still warm, and the nights keep getting colder and colder. In October, you can already get caught up in a rain and snow shower.
The average daytime temperature in the fall is between +2 °C to +10 °C (from 35.6 °F to 50 °F).
In the warmest days, the thermometer might shoot up to +18 °C (64.4 °F). At the same time, the temperature can drop to −2 °C (28.4 °F) at night.