St Petersburg’s climate is maritime and much milder than its northern latitude would suggest. January temperatures average -8°C; a really cold day will get down to -15°C. It’s a windy city, especially in some areas exposed to the Gulf of Finland.
Summer is cool and takes a while to get going: snow in late April is not uncommon as temperatures suddenly drop when the melting ice blocks from Lake Ladoga come floating through the city’s main waterways. Warm weather doesn’t really start until June to August, when temperatures usually surpass 20°C. On the rare hot days of highs up to 30°C, residents flee to the beaches on the north bank of the Gulf of Finland or to their dachas (country cottages) in cool but mosquito-infested forests.
The city’s northern latitude means long summer days and long winter nights. During White Nights, around the time of the summer solstice, night is reduced to a brief dimming of the lights about 1am, only to turn to dawn a couple of hours later. In winter the city seems to be in constant dusk.