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This climate type is dominated by the winter season, a long, bitterly cold period with short, clear days, relatively little precipitation mostly in the form of snow, and low humidity. It is located north of the humid continental climate, from about 50° to 70° N, in a broad swath extending from Alaska to Newfoundland in North America and from northern Scandinavia to Siberia in Eurasia. In Asia the Siberian anticyclone, the source of continental polar air, dominates the interior of the continent. The North American representative of this climate is not as severe but is still profoundly cold. Mean monthly temperatures are below freezing for six to eight months, with an average frost-free period of only 50-90 days per year, and snow remains on the ground for many months. Summers are short and mild, with long days and a prevalence of frontal precipitation associated with maritime tropical air within traveling cyclones. Annual precipitation totals are mostly less than 500mm (19.69 in), with a concentration in the summer.
The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Dfc". (Continental Subarctic Climate).
The average temperature for the year in Alta is 34.3°F (1.3°C). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 56.1°F (13.4°C). The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 16.3°F (-8.7°C).
The highest recorded temperature in Alta is 90.0°F (32.2°C), which was recorded in July. The lowest recorded temperature in Alta is -20.0°F (-28.9°C), which was recorded in January.
The average amount of precipitation for the year in Alta is 15.8" (401.3 mm). The month with the most precipitation on average is July with 2.1" (53.3 mm) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is April with an average of 0.7" (17.8 mm). There are an average of 91.1 days of precipitation, with the most precipitation occurring in October with 9.4 days and the least precipitation occurring in April with 5.0 days.
In terms of liquid precipitation, there are an average of 99.0 days of rain, with the most rain occurring in September with 17.0 days of rain, and the least rain occurring in January with 2.0 days of rain.