The climate in Kazakhstan is sharply continental. The continentality manifests itself in a number of features. These include the large winter/summer temperature amplitude; dry air, few atmospheric precipitations in the most part of the Republic, long severe winter and short summer in the north and short winter and hot summer in the south.
The latitudinal location corresponds to that of the Mediterranean countries with their humid sub-tropical climate and Central European countries with their continental climate. Kazakhstan is located in 4 climatic zones such as forest-steppe; steppe; semi-desert; and desert. A sharply continental climate with cold snowy winter and hot summer prevail in many parts of Kazakhstan.
E.g., the temperature in the capital city of Astana can get down to minus 30-35 degrees centigrade in winter and up to plus 30-35 in summer. The proximity of mountain ranges and lakes often mitigates the climatic severity. The weather in some areas can essentially change during a short time.
Kazakhstan is located in the southern part of the moderate climatic belt. Four seasons are pronounced in the Republic (summer, autumn, winter and spring). Strong Siberian winters rule the winter. Summers are dominated by tropical air masses forming above Kazakhstan and Middle Asia. The climate continentality strengthens the seasonal summer/winter temperatures.
In Kazakhstan located between the two pretty different Eurasian regions – Middle Asia and Siberia – the impacts are overlapped of the air masses of the cold north and hot south. Kazakhstan is characterized by large variations of both daily and annual temperatures. The annual and monthly average temperatures vary from north to south in the plain and lowland part and with the terrain altitude above the sea-level in highland areas.
The annual average air temperature across the entire plain and lowland part of the country is positive. It is +0.4 0C in the north and reaches +13.7 0C in the extreme south.
The average January temperature is in the range of -19 to -4 0C and the average July temperature is +19 to +26 0C.