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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 Balqash is 42.0°F (5.6°C). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 75.0°F (23.9°C). The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 5.0°F (-15°C).
The highest recorded temperature in Balqash is 106.0°F (41.1°C), which was recorded in June. The lowest recorded temperature in Balqash is -51.0°F (-46.1°C), which was recorded in January.
The average amount of precipitation for the year in Balqash is 5.6" (142.2 mm). The month with the most precipitation on average is July with 0.8" (20.3 mm) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is January with an average of 0.3" (7.6 mm). In terms of liquid precipitation, there are an average of 40.6 days of rain, with the most rain occurring in December with 4.9 days of rain, and the least rain occurring in April with 1.8 days of rain.