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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 Cortez is 50.2°F (10.1°C). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 75.2°F (24°C). The coolest month on average is December, with an average temperature of 29.7°F (-1.3°C).
The highest recorded temperature in Cortez is 105.0°F (40.6°C), which was recorded in July. The lowest recorded temperature in Cortez is -22.0°F (-30°C), which was recorded in December.
The average amount of precipitation for the year in Cortez is 9.7" (246.4 mm). The month with the most precipitation on average is April with 1.2" (30.5 mm) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is August with an average of 0.4" (10.2 mm). There are an average of 64.0 days of precipitation, with the most precipitation occurring in April with 8.0 days and the least precipitation occurring in July with 3.0 days.
In Cortez, there's an average of 18.3" of snow (46.5 cm). The month with the most snow is February, with 5.9" of snow (15 cm).