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Climate

Temperatures in Armenia generally depend upon elevation. Mountain formations block the moderating climatic influences of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, creating wide seasonal variations. On the Armenian Plateau, the mean midwinter temperature is 0° C, and the mean midsummer temperature exceeds 25° C. Average precipitation ranges from 250 millimeters per year in the lower Arax River valley to 800 millimeters at the highest altitudes. Despite the harshness of winter in most parts, the fertility of the plateau's volcanic soil made Armenia one of the world's earliest sites of agricultural activity.

Rainfall

Armenia receives a total average precipitation of 550 mm (21.6 inches). Ararat Valley receives the least amount of precipitation, 200-250 mm (7.9 to 10 inches). The most amount of precipitation occurs in the upper regions, and during Spring and early Summer, with a second rainy season in October and November.

Sunshine

Armenia receives an average of 2700 sun hours of light a year. In the summer months, the Ararat valley is perpendicular to the sun, and each sq. cm of land receives per minute 1.46 calories of heat.

Weather patterns

The weather changes according to the great variety of geographic terrain. While it may be sunny and hot in the Ararat valley, 60 kilometers away in Sevan it may be cold and rainy, and snowing in the upper regions of Aragats. Common July temperatures range between Ararat Valley highs of 25-300 C (77-860 F) to middle mountain regions summer highs of 18-200 C (64-680 F). The absolute recorded high was 420 C (107.60 F), in Ararat Valley. Common January temperatures range between Ararat Valley lows of -5 to -70 C (23 to 190 F), with an absolute recorded minimum of -300 C (-220 F); to middle mountain regions common lows of -8 to -120 C (16 to 120 F) and an absolute low of -460 C (-460 F) recorded at Arpi. The average number of frost-free days in Armenia is 250 in Ararat Valley, and 150-200 days in the middle mountain areas. In the upper elevations no more than 30-50 days are considered frost-free.