Abstract : 1C.15
Climate of the Khibiny Mountains

Yury L. Zyuzin, Valery I. Demin
vdemin@pgi.kolasc.net.ru
Center of Avalanshe Sufety „Apatit“ JSC

The climatic characteristic of the Khibiny Mountains (Kola Peninsula, Russia) are described.

The Khibiny massif is of oval shape of about 1,300 sq. km. and occupies the central part of the peninsula at a relative elevation of 900-1000 m above the surrounding plain. The highest point is 1200 m. The peaks are of plateau type, with steep slopes, with glaciers, icefields and snowfields in some places. The foothills and mountain valleys are occupied with forest-tundra vegetation. The surface of plateau is rocky or with areas of the vegetation of the Arctic tundra (lichens and moss).

The climate of Khibiny is formed mainly under the influence of the atmosphere circulation processes. The role of the radiation processes is less important as the economy of radiation of underlying surface in the Kola Peninsula is negative during six months.

The mean annual temperature is -0.3°С in the foothills and is -4.9°С on the mountain plateau. The mean July temperatures are +7.7 and +2.2°C respectively. The duration of period with mean daily temperature greater than 0°C on the plateau is less than 55-60 days. The snowing can be expected in any season on altitude of 700 m and higher. February is the coldest month with temperatures of about -12 -13°C. The winter temperatures change weakly with altitude.

The mountain and valley circulation in the Khibiny mountains is either weak or absent for the most part of the year. At the some time there are foehns and catabatic winds.

The frequent cyclones and the orographic influence cause heavy precipitation. The annual precipitation on the plateau is 1480 mm and is 450-500 mm in the foothills. The total solid precipitation in the Khibiny is about 700 mm.

The duration fogs are the characteristic feature of the mountain climate in the Khibiny. The summary fogs duration on the plateau is about 50% of total time. There are favourable conditions for formation of glaze-ice and rime deposition too.