Siberia is currently going through some dangerously cold weather. On Sunday, January 15, temperatures of -62.4°C (-80.32°F) were picked up in Tongulakh, a rural part of Sakha Republic, Russia. The temperatures were reported by Ventusky, a meteorological company based in Czechia. They explain that this is a “new all-time low” for the station at Tongulakh and the coldest temperature in Siberia since 2002.
It wasn’t just Tongulakh that felt the chill this weekend (although “chill” is a massive understatement). Numerous patches of the Sakha Republic just east of this station were also clocking temperatures well below -50°C (-58°F) on Sunday.
For context, this is comparable to the temperature on Mars. Although surface temperatures on the red planet can range from up to 20 °C (68 °F) to -153 °C (−243 °F), its average annual temperature is approximately -62 °C (-80°F).
The temperatures currently battering Siberia aren’t far off all-time record-breakers. The coldest temperate ever recorded in the northern hemisphere was documented in Oymyakon of the Sakha Republic on 6 February 1933 when temperatures dropped as low as -67.7°C (-90°F).
Since it’s still only January, there’s still plenty of time for this record to be smashed.
On the flip side, summers in Siberia are also reaching an astonishing extreme. In June 2021, temperatures of 48°C (118°F) were detected in Verkhoyansk, a Siberian town in the Arctic Circle.
Just as climate scientists have warned, it's clear that extreme temperatures at both ends of the spectrum are becoming more common and more intense.
Correction 16/01/2023: The second sentence of this paragraph originally said: "On Sunday, April 15, temperatures of..." This typo has since been corrected to say January.