WEATHER


The climate of Georgia is mild and rainy on the coast and in the western plain, while it becomes more continental and arid in the central and eastern inland areas, while in the mountains it's obviously colder.

Along the coast of the Black Sea and in the western plain, rainfall is abundant, amounting to 1,500 millimetres (60 inches) per year or more, and is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year, albeit with a maximum in autumn and winter. In Batumi, in the southern part of the coast, precipitation reaches as high as 2,500 mm (99 in) per year, with a peak in autumn.

Winter is fairly mild along the coast, since the average temperature in January is about 7 °C (45 °F); the sea moderates the climate, while the Caucasus Mountains in the north partially protect this area from cold winds, although beyond the Caucasus we find the freezing Russian plains, so sometimes a bit of cold air manages to surpass the mountains and reach the coast: there are on average about ten days with snow per year. Summer is warm or even a little hot, with a daily average around 23 °C (73 °F) in July and August; the sun often shines, but as we said there can be rainfall as well, which in summer occurs mainly in the form of downpour or thunderstorm.

This type of climate is also found in the plain a short distance from the coast, in cities like Kutaisi and Senaki, even though here the summer gets a little hotter for the distance from the sea. In ancient times, this portion of the coastal and western plain was called Colchis.

In the interior, separated from the western plains by some secondary mountain ranges such as the Likhi Mountains, we find valleys and plateaus lying at an altitude between 400 and 1,000 metres (1,300 and 3,300 feet).

In the capital, Tbilisi, located in the valley of the Kura at 450 metres (1,450 ft) above sea level, the climate is slightly continental, and is much more arid than the coast. The average temperature in January is 3 °C (37 °F), that of July is 25 °C (77 °F).

The rainfall amounts to 500 mm (20 in) per year, with a minimum in winter, even though the sky is often cloudy, and a maximum in late spring, in May and June, mainly because of afternoon instability, which can cause showers and thunderstorms, and partly continues even in summer. During winter, snowfall is quite frequent (although not abundant, because of the low level of precipitation), and also cold spells, during which the temperature can drop to about -15 °C (5 °F). Summer is sunny, despite a few afternoon downpours or thunderstorms; there can also be hot days, with maximum temperatures around 36/38 °C (97/100 °F).

The Caucasus Mountains (Greater Caucasus in the north and Lesser Caucasus in the south) and the secondary chains have an Alpine climate, more or less cold depending on altitude, with heavy snowfalls in winter; there are vast glaciers above 3,500 metres (11,500 ft), especially in the mountains of the Greater Caucasus, which are higher. The highest peak in Georgia is Mount Shkhara, 5,193 metres (17,037 ft) high. Precipitation is particularly abundant in the westernmost mountains: the Mtirala National Park, in the Autonomous Republic of Ajara, receives more than 4,500 mm (177 in) of rain per year.

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