Kyrgyzstan Climate and Weather

The Kyrgyz Republic is positioned near the middle of the Eurasian landmass, and there is no body of water large enough to influence weather patterns. Those factors create a distinctly continental climate that has significant local variations. Although the mountains tend to collect clouds and block sunlight (reducing some narrow valleys at certain times of year to no more than three or four hours of sunlight per day), the country is generally sunny, receiving as much as 2,900 hours of sunlight per year in some areas. The same conditions also affect temperatures, which can vary significantly from place to place. In January the warmest average temperature (24.8°F, -4°C) occurs around the southern city of Osh, and around Lake Issyk-Kul. The latter, which has a volume of 416 cubic miles (1738 cubic kilometers), does not freeze in winter. Indeed, its name means "hot lake" in Kyrgyz. The coldest temperatures are in mountain valleys. There, readings can fall to -22°F (30°C) or lower; the record is -64°F (-53.6°C) . The average temperature for July similarly varies from 81°F (27°C) in the Fergana Valley, where the record high is 111°F (44°C) , to a low of 14°F (-10°C) on the highest mountain peaks. Precipitation varies from 79 inches per year in the mountains above the Fergana Valley to less than 4 inches per year on the west bank of Issyk-Kul. Bishkek's weather is fairly mild. In Bishkek, nighttime temperatures in January can be in the teens (Fahrenheit), but daytime temperatures often rise to above freezing, enough for snow and ice to begin melting. Summer temperatures can rise above 90°F (32°C) by the end of May. The air is dry year round.

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