Climate

The climate in Pshav-Khevsureti varies in different parts of the region. The ravines of the river Asa and Arghuni (Northern Khevsureti) is harsher than in Pshavi and Southern Khevsureti (Aragvi’s Ravine). The Khevsureti Ridge prevents air currents from the North Caucasus entering Southern Khevsureti. Only currents from the south, east and west are reaching Pshavi and South Khevsureti, bringing humid air and increasing rain deposits. In the high mountains of the Caucasus continental air currents are dominant. The existence of mountain-ravine winds is also of importance. Complex and densely formed rugged mountain ranges in the Caucasus determine and change the direction of winds, therefore different climates can be characteristic for different, separated valleys. A great scale of altitudes typical for Pshav-Khevsureti mountians results in multiple temperature levels. The climate in the basin of the river Aragvi is warmer than the one occurring in the river ravines on the northern side of the Caucasus, Asa and Arghun. At an altitude of 1500 meters above sea level, the temperature during 5 months is below freezing. Maximum temperatures are observed in the month of August regardless of differences in topography over the whole region. In general summer in mountains is long but still it can be quite chilly. Temperatures over 10 degrees are registered only during five months here. In high mountain areas, summer is even shorter and colder. Average temperature at 2500 meters altitude exceeds 10 degrees only from 2 up to 4 months. Higher up, above 3000 meters it gets even colder. The northern side of the Caucasus Ridge receives a significantly lower amount of rain than the Southern part, however with the rise in altitude difference it becomes less significant. An area from 1200-1300 meters to 1800-1900 is characterized by a temperate humid and moderately cold climate with long chilly summers and cold winters. Average temperature during January is from -6 to -3 degrees. Extreme minimum temperature can go down as much as -25 to -28 degrees. Rain deposits are quite high, from 900 up to 1400 mm. The largest amount of rainfall is during May. The maximum average humidity is during the warm season and reaches 74-76%, while the minimum occurs during the winter period: 67-68%. Duration of snowfall is from 3 to 6 months. Depth of snow layer can vary from 30 to 100 centimeters. Higher up, the climate at altitudes from 1800-1900 to 2400-2500 meters is characterized by a humid, cold winter and short chilly summers. Most rainfall occurs at the end of spring and beginning of summer. The least amount of rain falls during January. Temperature during the warmest month is from 10 to 15 degrees. Yearly rainfall amounts to 1200-1500 mm. In some places the snow layer can reach a depth of 2 meters. At an altitude of 2400-2500 to 2400-3500 summer is short, while winter is harsh and long. Average temperature during January is -12-14 degrees; average temperature during July can reach 4-6 degrees. Temperature above zero lasts from 4 to 6 months. Absolute minimum is -30 degrees. The layer of snow here also reaches 2 meters in depth. Further up above 3500 meters, we encounter Nival climate which is characterized by a permanent snow presence. This area is characterised by extreme cold and harsh winters. Temperature during the warmest month remains below 5 degrees. The absolute minimum is -30 to -35 degrees.