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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 Santa Bárbara is 46.0°F (7.8°C). The warmest month, on average, is January with an average temperature of 50.9°F (10.5°C). The coolest month on average is July, with an average temperature of 38.1°F (3.4°C).
The average amount of precipitation for the year in Santa Bárbara is 8.5" (215.9 mm). The month with the most precipitation on average is January with 2.2" (55.9 mm) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is May with an average of 0.0" (0 mm). There are an average of 74.8 days of precipitation, with the most precipitation occurring in January with 16.5 days and the least precipitation occurring in June with 0.1 days.