Because Kazakstan is so far from the oceans, the climate is
sharply continental and very dry. Precipitation in the mountains
of the east averages as much as 600 millimeters per year, mostly
in the form of snow, but most of the republic receives only 100
to 200 millimeters per year. Precipitation totals less than 100
millimeters in the south-central regions around Qyzylorda. A lack
of precipitation makes Kazakstan a sunny republic; the north averages
120 clear days a year, and the south averages 260. The lack of
moderating bodies of water also means that temperatures can vary
widely. Average winter temperatures are -3°C in the north
and 18°C in the south; summer temperatures average 19°C
in the north and 28°-30°C in the south. Within locations
differences are extreme, and temperature can change very suddenly.
The winter air temperature can fall to -50°C, and in summer
the ground temperature can reach as high as 70°C.
Data as of March 1996