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This climate type occurs primarily on the periphery of the true deserts in low-latitude semiarid steppe regions. It is transitional to the tropical wet-dry climate on the equatorward side and to the mediterranean climate on its poleward margin, with a cooler, wetter winter resulting from the higher latitude and mid-latitude frontal cyclone activity. Annual precipitation totals are greater than in tropical and subtropical desert climates. Yearly variations in amount are not as extreme as in the true deserts but are nevertheless large.
The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "BSk". (Tropical and Subtropical Steppe Climate).
The average temperature for the year in Merced is 61.2°F (16.2°C). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 77.8°F (25.4°C). The coolest month on average is December, with an average temperature of 44.6°F (7°C).
The highest recorded temperature in Merced is 112.0°F (44.4°C), which was recorded in June. The lowest recorded temperature in Merced is 19.0°F (-7.2°C), which was recorded in December.
The average amount of precipitation for the year in Merced is 12.5" (317.5 mm). The month with the most precipitation on average is January with 2.6" (66 mm) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is July with an average of 0.0" (0 mm). In terms of liquid precipitation, there are an average of 50.0 days of rain, with the most rain occurring in January with 8.0 days of rain, and the least rain occurring in June with 1.0 days of rain.