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Land and Resources

Climate

Rainfall and temperature vary considerably across the Middle East and even within countries. For example, the Caspian Sea coast of northern Iran receives up to 2000 mm (80 in) of rain a year, while the desert regions of Iran may receive no rain at all for several years. Temperatures also vary by region. Ankara in the central plateau region of Turkey averages 0C (32F) in January and 23C (73F) in July. In contrast, low-lying coastal regions of the Arabian Peninsula (the large peninsula south of Jordan and Iraq) and those bordering the Mediterranean Sea experience much more moderate winter temperatures: Jiddah in western Saudi Arabia averages 24C (75F) in January and 31C (89F) in July. Lowland desert areas in the interior regions of the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Iraq, and Egypt experience periods of extreme heat in the summer, with temperatures often reaching 45C (113F) or higher.

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