Winter in the steppe zone is 4-5 months (November-March) and cold. A stable snow cover forms in as early as November here. Frost noticeably strengthens in January. The thickness of the snow cover can reach 30 cm and lasts 125-175 days. The coldest month in Kazakhstan is January. Its average temperature is 19 0C in the north (Petropavl) and 1.50C in the south (Darbaza).
The lowest temperatures are characteristic for the northeastern part where frosts can reach -54 0C while the southern temperatures are rare to fall lower than -300C. The coldest location in Kazakhstan is Atbassar where the record lowest temperature was -570C.
The winter with stable snow cover in the semi-desert zone lasts up to 4 months (November - February) and is moderately cold and windy. The snow cover in the plain part lasts for 40 to 80 days and its thickness is no more than 10 cm.
In mountain areas, up to some altitude, the shift can be observed of the average date of the temperature passing through 0 0C for 20-30 and sometimes to 40 and more days. The southward highland climate gradually acquires moderately milk character: the average temperature is -130C in Altai and -4.30C in Tien Shan.
In winter, the Republic is sometimes penetrated by warm air masses from the south-east that increase the temperature over +100C in the south and up to +50C in the north. As a result, thaw occurs for several days.
The average January temperature in highland areas differs from that in the plains area. It is cold in winter in Kazakhstan with ruling dry continental arctic moderate air and Siberian anticyclone. A dry and clear weather establishes with negative temperatures.