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World Travel Guide > Guides > Asia > Mongolia

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Mongolia Weather, climate and geography

Weather and climate

Best time to visit

A dry climate with short, mild summers and long, severe winters (November to February). In the depths of the winter (December and January), temperatures can remain below zero degrees for several weeks. Cold snaps can bring the temperature to minus 30°C (86°F). Spring (March-May) brings unsettled weather, strong winds and wild fluctuations in temperature. Summers (June-August) are warm across the country, particularly in the Gobi Desert where temperatures can reach 40°C (104°F). Thunderstorms are common in late summer. September and October are cool in the north but quite pleasant in Gobi areas. July and August are generally the best months for travel.

Required clothing

Mediumweights are worn during summer, with very warm heavyweights advised for winter.

Geography

Mongolia has a 3,485km (2,165-mile) border with the Russian Federation in the north and a 4,670km (2,902-mile) border with China in the south. From north to south, it can be divided into four areas: mountain-forest steppe, mountain steppe and, in the extreme south, semi-desert and desert (the latter being about 3% of the entire territory). The majority of the country has a high elevation, with the principal mountains concentrated in the west. The highest point is the peak of Tavan Bogd, in the Altai Mountains, at 4,374m (14,350ft) high. The lowest point, Khukh Nuur lake, in the east, lies at 560m (1,820ft). There are several hundred lakes in the country and numerous rivers, of which the Orkhon is the longest at 1,124km (698 miles).