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THE LAND

Mongolia is one of the few countries in the temperate belt of the Northern Hemisphere with vast territory, perfect ecosystem and virgin land. Mongolia is ranked as the seventh largest country in Asia for its territory, which covers an area of 603,899 square miles (1,564,100 sq.km.), larger than the overall combined territory of Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy. Mongolia is the largest land-locked counrty. Mongolia lies between 87 44'E and 119 56'E Longitude and between 41 35'-44'N and 52 09'N Latitude in the North of Central Asia. Mongolia is bordered with Russia to the North, China to the East, South and West. Its total borderline is 5,072 miles (8,162 km.) long, 2,166 miles (3,485 km.) of which is with Russia and 2,906 miles (4,677 km.) is with China. The territory of Mongolia extends 1,486 miles (2,392 km.) fromo the Mongol Altai Mountains in the West to the East and 782 miles (1,259 km.) from the Soyon mountain ranges in the North to the Gobi desert in the South. The nearest body of ocean connected water to Mongolia is the Yellow Sea, 435 miles (700 km.) away in the East.


CLIMATE

Mongolia is known to the world as country of "Blue Sky". It has a continental climate, with long, cold, dry winters and brief, mild, and relatively wet summers. When Arctic air masses dominate in mid-winter, temperatures average 68 F (-20 C) to 95 F (-35 C). In the Uvs Lake basin in northwestern Mongolia, known as one of the coldest places in all of Asia, the lowest temperature ever recorder is 136 F (-58 C). By contrast, summer time temperatures in the Gobi desert climb as high as 104 F (40 C). Annual precipitation ranges from 24 inches (600 mm.) in the Khentii, Altai, and Khuvsgul Mountains to less than 4 inches (100 mm.) in the Gobi. In some parts of the Gobi, no precipitation may fall for several years in a row. Mongolia has 4 seasons. These are spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Spring

Spring comes after a severe winter, days become longer, and nights shorter. It is the time for snow to melt and for animals to come out from hibernation. All animals and livestock breed while the soil thaws in the warm spring weather. In Mongolia "Khansh neekh" means some animals, which hibernated, awoke from their sleep. Spring is the prosperous season of the year when everybody is calm and relaxed; grass turns greem, anemones grow up and nature is covered with its green dress. Beginning in March spring usually lasts about 60 days although it can be as long as 70 days or as short as 45 days in some areas of the country. For people and livestock, it is also a harsh season of the driest and the most windy days although it gets warm in spring, livestock breed and gain their weight, and grass becomes green.

Summer

Summer is the warmest season in Mongolia. Generally, precipitation is higher in summer than any time of the year. Rivers and streams are at their fullest in summer. It is the time when pasture, grass and crops grow and livestock gain weight and fat. It is the most pleasant time with abundant dairy products and there are many feasts and holidays of happy people. In Mongolia, summer lasts about 100 days from the end of May until September. July is the warmest month of summer and it is 59 F (15 C) and 68 (20 C) in mountainous areas of Khangai region, 68 F (20 C) and 77 F (25 C) in the steppes and the highest temperature is between 90 F (32 C) and 95 F (35 C) in Khangai and 104 F (40 C) and 106 F (41 C) in Gobi. Sometimes it reaches 122 F (50 C) in Gobi.

Autumn

Autumn in Mongolia ifs the season of transition from the hot and wet summer to the cold and dry winter. There is less rainfall in autumn. Gradually it gets cooler and vegetables and grains are harvested at this time. Pasture and forests become yellow. Flies die and livestock is fat and woolly in preparation for the winter. Autumn is an important season in Mongolia in order to prepare for winter; harvesting the crops, vegetables and fodder; getting ready their cattle barns and sheds; preparing firewood and warming up their homes and so on. Autumn lasts about 60 days from the beginning of September until the early November. In some years, there are many long and sunny days in autumn.

Winter

In Mongolia, winter is the most severe, the coldest and longest season. All rivers, lakes, streams and ponds freeze in winter. It snows throughout the country, but not heavily. After making all the necessary preparations for a long winter, herdsmen stay at their winter camps. Winter starts early in November and lasts about 110 days until March. Sometimes it snows in September and November, but the heavy snow usually occurs at the beginning of October. January is the coldest winter month in Mongolia and the mean temperature is 95 F (-25 C) in Khangai mountain regions, 59 F (-15 C) in Gobi and 68 F (-20 C) and 77 F (-25 C) in the other parts of the country. However, 50 F (-10 C) in Europe means 68 F (-20 C) in Mongolia.