Climate and geography
Climate and geography

Georgia is located in the Eastern Europe. Country's total area comprises 69.7 thousand sq km. Nature of Georgia is extremely diverse due to its geographical position, the complex topography and altitudinal zonality. The Caucasus region, which is in Georgia, refers to the moving of the alpine belt of the earth's crust that causes its contrasting topography and diverse landscape with many different types of climate, hydrological regime, soil, vegetation and wildlife. In addition, Georgia is at the crossroads of the humid Mediterranean, arid drainless Aral-Caspian basin and continental Asiatic highland, which also determines the diversity of natural environment.

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Topography

Northern part of the country is occupied by the mountains of the Greater Caucasus with elevations up to 4500-5000 m above sea level. The highest point is Mount Shkhara (5068 m) and Kazbek (5033 m). The highest part of the Caucasus is characterized by glaciers,in the west by karst phenomena, and the east - by young volcanic forms. In the south of the country midranges of the Lesser Caucasus (altitude 2850 m) are located, Colchis Lowland is situated between the Greater and Lesser Caucasus - which has the shape of a triangle with a base, converted to the Black Sea, and in the east - Iberian basin, where the Kura river flows. In the extreme south of Georgia South Georgian (Javakheti) volcanic plateau is located, which is characterized by lava plateau, a chain of volcanoes and canyon gorges. Major minerals of Georgia are manganese ore (Chiatura), coal (Tkibuli), small oil reserves. One of the main natural resources is numerous mineral and thermal springs. On the basis of mineral springs up to 50 resorts are created. The most popular are Borjomi and Tshaltubo.

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Hydrography

Rivers of Georgia belong to two basins - the Black Sea (75% of the flow) and the Caspian. There are about 25,000 rivers in Georgia, many of which power small hydroelectric stations. The Kura River is the main river of Georgia, which begins in Turkey, flows through the territory of Georgia and flows into the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan. The widest and largest river in the Western Georgia is considered to be the Rioni River, which flows into the Black Sea. There are not a lot of lakes in Georgia; they can be seen mostly in the Javakheti Plateau. The biggest of them is Lake Paravani.

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Climate

Georgia's climate is affected by subtropical influences from the west and Mediterranean influences from the east. The Greater Caucasus range moderates local climate by serving as a barrier against cold air from the north. Warm, moist air from the Black Sea moves easily into the coastal lowlands from the west. Climatic zones are determined by distance from the Black Sea and by altitude. Along the Black Sea coast, from Abkhazia to the Turkish border, and in the region known as the Kolkhida Lowlands inland from the coast, the dominant subtropical climate features high humidity and heavy precipitation (1,000 to 2,000 mm or 39.4 to 78.7 in per year; the Black Sea port of Batumi receives 2,500 mm or 98.4 in per year). The midwinter average temperature is 5 oC (41 oF) and the midsummer average is 24-26 oC (71.6 oF).

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The plains of eastern Georgia are shielded from the influence of the Black Sea by mountains that provide a more continental climate. Summer temperatures average 20 oC (68 oF) to 24 oC (75.2 oF), winter temperatures 2 oC (35.6 oF) to 4 oC (39.2 oF). Humidity is lower, and rainfall averages 500 to 800 mm (19.7 to 31.5 in) per year. Alpine and highland regions in the east and west, as well as a semi-arid region on the Iori Plateau to the southeast, have distinct microclimates.

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On the slopes of mountains average July temperature drop to +4 + 6 oC, in the highlands average January temperature can reach -10-16 oC. Weather in the mountains is changing rapidly.