Romania is an almost landlocked country in southeastern Europe. It has a short coastline on the Black Sea, south of the mouth of the River Danube.
Its southern border is with Bulgaria; it is bordered on the west by Serbia and Hungary, north by Ukraine, and east by Moldova. The east and south of the country are low-lying and rather flat; the centre and west include the Carpathian Mountains and their foothills, with ridges and peaks rising from 1,800 m/6,000 ft.
Romania has a climate of the continental type, rather like that of the steppes of Ukraine, with cold, snowy winters and warm summers. Precipitation is normally rather low except in the higher parts of the Carpathians.
Spring and summer are the wettest seasons when thunderstorms are most frequent. Winter precipitation is mostly snow. Snow lies from thirty to fifty days a year at low levels and up to 100 days in the mountains.
The mildest area in winter is along the coast of the Black Sea (see the table for Constanta). Inland, the Danube and other rivers usually freeze in winter. The change from winter conditions to those of summer is often rather abrupt and spring is a short but changeable season in Romania. Late summer and autumn are often rather dry.
The weather can be changeable at all times of the year and there are considerable variations from one year to another. In dry summers the plains in the north and east can suffer from drought as hot, dry winds blow from the east.
On the other hand, in winter the most severe weather occurs when cold winds from the same region sweep the country. Winter is the time of heaviest rainfall. Summers in Romania are generally warm and sunny with an average of nine to ten hours of sunshine a day. Winter sunshine is rather low, averaging only two to three hours a day.
Away from the Black Sea coast there are no great differences in climate from one part of the country to another, apart from the cooler and wetter summers in the Carpathians. During cold spells in winter frost may be as severe in the plains as in the mountains. The climatic tables for Bucharest and Arad represent conditions east and west of the Carpathians respectively.
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