Georgia's climate is affected by subtropical influences from the west and Mediterranean influences from the east. The Greater Caucasus range moderates local climate by serving as a barrier against cold air from the north. Warm, moist air from the Black Sea moves easily into the coastal lowlands from the west.
Climatic zones are determined by distance from the Black
Sea and by altitude. Along the Black Sea coast, from Abkhazia to
the Turkish border, and in the region known as the Kolkhida
Lowlands inland from the coast, the dominant subtropical climate
features high humidity and heavy precipitation (1,000 to 2,000
mm/39.4 to 78.7 in per year; the Black Sea port of Batumi
receives 2,500 mm/98.4 in per year).Several varieties of palm
trees grow in these regions, where the midwinter average
temperature is 5 ° C (41 ° F) and the midsummer average is 22 °
C (71.6 ° F).
The plains of eastern Georgia are shielded from the
influence of the Black Sea by mountains that provide a more
continental climate. Summer temperatures average 20 ° C (68 ° F)
to 24 ° C (75.2 ° F), winter temperatures 2 ° C (35.6 ° F)
to 4 ° C (39.2 ° F). Humidity is lower, and rainfall
averages 500 to 800 mm (19.7 to 31.5 in) per year. Alpine and
highland regions in the east and west, as well as a semi-arid
region on the Iori Plateau to the southeast, have distinct
At higher elevations, precipitation is sometimes twice as heavy as in the eastern plains. In the west, the climate is subtropical to about 650 m (2,133 ft); above that altitude (and to the north and east) is a band of moist and moderately warm weather, then a band of cool and wet conditions. Alpine conditions begin at about 2,100 m (6,890 ft), and above 3,600 m (11,811 ft) snow and ice are present year-round.