Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/97

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CLIMATE AND FLORA OF KAN-SU.

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twenty-two rainy days in July, twenty-seven in August, and twenty-three in September; of the latter number twelve were snowy; from September 28, it snowed frequently. Owing to the heavy rainfall the soil is very moist, nearly every ravine having its stream. The temperature in summer is low, if it be remembered that this region lies in the thirty-eighth parallel. Even in July the greater heights were covered with hoarfrost; in August thick flakes of snow fell, thawing, however, during the daytime, and after the beginning of September the snow remained on the ground.

The heat in summer was never oppressive, the highest temperature registered in July being 88° Fahr. in the shade. Light winds prevailed from the SE., and thunderstorms were most frequent in July and September, in the latter month accompanied by snow and hail.

The flora is rich and varied, as one would have expected from the moisture and richness of the soil, and the other favourable conditions for its development. Forests, however, in our sense of the word, only grow on the northern slopes of the southern range: a circumstance deserving of notice, because in these mountains arboreal vegetation has not to contend with the disadvantages of an arid climate as in the mountains of Mongolia. Even in this moist atmosphere trees apparently avoid the sun, which certainly does not make its presence often felt during the summer. As usual, the lower zones are the most thickly wooded, from the bottom of the