Because of its position on the southeastern portion of the European continent, Romania has a climate that is transitional between temperate and continental. Climatic conditions are somewhat modified by the country's varied relief. The Carpathians serve as a barrier to Atlantic air masses, restricting their oceanic influences to the west and center of the country, where they make for milder winters and heavier rainfall. The mountains also block the continental influences of the vast plain to the north in the Soviet Union, which bring frosty winters and less rain to the south and southeast. In the extreme southeast, Mediterranean influences offer a milder, maritime climate. The average annual temperature is 11°C in the south and 8°C in the north. In Bucharest, the temperature ranges from -29°C in January to 29°C in July, with average temperatures of -3°C in January and 23°C in July. Rainfall, although adequate throughout the country, decreases from west to east and from mountains to plains. Some mountainous areas receive more than 1,010 millimeters of precipitation each year. Annual precipitation averages about 635 millimeters in central Transylvania, 521 millimeters at Iasi in Moldavia, and only 381 millimeters at Constanta on the Black Sea.
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