From the moist air masses coming from the Black Sea, the accumulated water vapor is almost completely discharged in the form of rain in summer and snow in winter on the slopes of Main and Lateral Caucasian ridges. At an altitude of 3000 m. the maximum amount of precipitation falls (~ 270 mm), higher their volume decreases.
According to long-term observations, in October observed the first snowfall, but permanent snow cover is established in November – December. The distribution of snow cover depends on the form of relief. As a result of force wind and snow avalanches the snow cover in the folds of the surface can reach high values.
At altitudes of 3000 meters the snow may fall in plus and minus air temperatures. The temperature of soil surface can also be both plus and minus.
The height of snow cover (in sm.) in ten-day period for the many years of observations:
|Height above sea level||2000m||3150m|
Vertical gradient of temperature in the winter months is very different depending on the form of relief. The lowest temperature recorded in the deep valleys and hollows. Typically, when a uniform change in terrain, during climb the temperature decreases by about half a degree for every hundred meters of ascent.
The high-altitude zone is characterized by a large winter dryness, lack of low clouds, plenty of sun. Rarely seen ice-frost phenomenon.
The average temperature in July +10 degrees at an altitude of 2500 m and -1.4 degrees at an altitude of 4200 m. In winter the average temperature in January, accordingly -12 and -19 degrees, the absolute minimum is -30 and -40 degrees.
During the year, at all altitudes is dominated by westerly winds. In the valleys of the typical mountain-valley winds. Since the Baksan valley stretches in the latitudinal direction, resulting in its mountain-valley winds and the winds of the upper atmospheric layers are mutually complementary. In Terskol and Azau usually storm winds do not exist. During climb the wind increases. At altitudes above 4000 m (the height of the rocks in the area of the place “Priut-11”) are observed storm winds (15 m/s) and hurricane force, in February, at a temperature of -40 degrees, winds reach forces up to 40 m/s and above.