Area: 199,951 km2 (77,202 sq miles)
Capital City: Bishkek
Population: 6,019,480 (2016 estimate)
Official Languages: Kyrgyz, Russian
Boarding Countries: China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan
Currency: Som (KGS)
Government: Parliamentary Republic
In Kyrgyzstan, a mountainous country of central Asia, the climate is continental, with cold winters, often frosty, and warm and sunny summers, sometimes scorchingly hot at low altitudes, but cooler in the mountains. Precipitation is moderate in the west, while the center-east is arid, and also desert at lower elevations. From the vast deserts of neighboring countries, winds able to bring sandstorms can blow. The capital Bishkek is located in the north, in the valley of the river Chuy, at an altitude ranging between 650 and 950 meters (2,100 and 3,100 feet). Here the climate is continental, with cold winters and hot summers, in which the days can be torrid, often around 35/36 °C (95/97 °F), but with dry air and lively breezes in the afternoon. Precipitation is moderate, the annual total being around 450 mm (17.5 inches), with a summer minimum (when only rare showers occur to interrupt the sunny days), and a maximum in spring, between March and May.