The main climatic peculiarities of the region are related to altitude and the dominant westerly airstream. Adjacent ridges and mountains moderate the influence of northerly and westerly winds or the climate of the valleys in the Elbrus Region; thus spring and summer weather here is mainly dry warm and clear (the average monthly valley temperature in July is about 20°C); winter and autumn are cold, dry and clear (the average temperature in January is -4°C). Warm, dry winds blowing from the mountains down into the valleys in winter may cause thaws lasting several days which are otter followed by huge snowfalls. Annual precipitation is 550-650mm; in certain years it may rise up to 950mm. Above 2000m annual precipitation is to 1500mm and more. Thunderstorms are quite common in early summer.
The Trans Caucasus (south of the main ridge) are much more exposed to humid westerlies and annual precipitation is higher (950-1050mm); the average temperature in July is about 17°C. Below 2000m winter lasts from December to February, above 2000m from October to April. Snowfall is frequent and often heavy, and high in the mountains snowstorms are common. By the end of the winter season snow-cover reaches 30-60cm in exposed areas and 3m in areas protected from the wind. Avalanches may take place in winter or early spring during thaws.