In general, Tajikistan's climate is continental, subtropical, and semiarid, with some desert areas. The climate changes drastically according to elevation, however. The Fergana Valley and other lowlands are shielded by mountains from Arctic air masses, but temperatures in that region still drop below freezing for more than 100 days a year. In the subtropical southwestern lowlands, which have the highest average temperatures, the climate is arid, although some sections now are irrigated for farming. At Tajikistan's lower elevations, the average temperature range is 23° to 30° C in July and -1° to 3°C in January. In the eastern Pamirs, the average July temperature is 5° to 10°C, and the average January temperature is -15° to -20°C. The average annual precipitation for most of the republic ranges between 700 and 1,600 millimeters. The heaviest precipitation falls are at the Fedchenko Glacier, which averages 2,236 millimeters per year, and the lightest in the eastern Pamirs, which average less than 100 millimeters per year. Most precipitation occurs in the winter and spring.
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