Climate, Weather, and Seasons
The climate of the Mangyshlak Peninsula is sharply continental, arid, with large fluctuations in seasonal and daily air temperatures, low rainfall, about 1200 mm per year.
Winters are harsh, windy and light snowy. Spring is short, usually dry and windy. Summer is hot, cloudless and long.
Autumn is long, mostly warm. The Caspian Sea, which surrounds the Mangyshlak Peninsula on three sides, affects only a narrow coastal strip.
Here, there is a slight increase in humidity, a decrease in air temperature in summer and an increase in winter, as well as a decrease in annual and daily amplitudes of temperature fluctuations.
In other parts of the region, the average annual air temperature is about 10.5 - 11.5 degrees by Centigrade, the absolute annual minimum temperature is 26 - 34 degrees, maximum 43 - 45 degrees, and surface heating of soils reaches 60 - 70 degrees.
The hottest period is from mid-July to mid-August. Autumn frosts begin in late October, spring frosts end in early April. Precipitation at Mangyshlak is very insignificant.
The average annual number is from 140-160 millimetres in the northern part and up to 90-120 millimetres in the south. Most precipitation falls over the mountainous part of the peninsula.
The predominant amount of precipitation in the north of the region occurs in spring and summer, and the southern part - in winter and spring. Rains at the end of spring and summer have a rainfall character. In the mountainous part, heavy rains can form mudflows.
The snow cover on Mangyshlak and Ustyurt is small (3-7 centimetres), unstable and not always solid. As a result of high temperatures, low rainfall and almost constantly windy weather, evaporation exceeds precipitation by 10–15 times, and air saturation with moisture is only 40–60%.
During the day, there are often thaws with temperatures up to 10 degrees C.
Precipitation falls mainly in the form of snow, but no stable snow cover is formed; its thickness does not exceed 5 cm by the end of winter. The average depth of soil freezing is 1 meter.
The number of days with fogs up is up to 6 months per year. Often there is blowing snow.