Temperatures in Armenia generally depend upon elevation. Mountain formations block the moderating climatic influences of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, creating wide seasonal variations. On the Armenian Plateau, the mean midwinter temperature is 0° C, and the mean midsummer temperature exceeds 25° C. Average precipitation ranges from 250 millimeters per year in the lower Aras River valley to 800 millimeters at the highest altitudes. Despite the harshness of winter in most parts, the fertility of the plateau's volcanic soil made Armenia one of the world's earliest sites of agricultural activity.
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