Serbia and Montenegro

SERBIA AND MoNTENEGRo are two of six independent countries that formed after the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. These two countries neighbor each other in eastern Europe and cover geographic regions with diverse climates. Serbia is landlocked and geographically positioned in the region of mild continental climate, whereas Montenegro also has a coastal region with a Mediterranean climate. Both countries have significant local climate variations resulting from local atmospheric circulations, as well as mountainous and hilly terrain away from Montenegro's Adriatic coast. In general, the subalpine climate with short cold winters and relatively hot summers is typical for elevations of from 2,000 ft. (600 m.) to 4,000 ft. (1,200 m.), and the Alpine climate with long and snowy winters and short warm summers is characteristic for elevations above 4,000 ft. (1,200 m.).

The capital of Serbia is Belgrade. Belgrade has a moderate continental climate that has hot summers, cold winters, and moderate precipitation. The yearly average temperature in Belgrade is around 53.1 degrees F (11.7 degrees C). The capital of Montenegro is Podgorica. Podgorica has a Mediterranean climate that has dry and hot summers, as well as rainy and mild winters, resulting in yearly average temperature of 61.5 degrees F (16.4 degrees C). In the summer, the temperatures in both capital cities go over 104 degrees F (40 degrees C). Interestingly, a town in the costal region of Montenegro has the highest yearly average rainfall in Europe of 183 in. (465

cm.). Nevertheless, the inland regions of these counties have been in "on" and "off" drought conditions resulting from extremely hot summers and unusually low rainfalls and snowfalls since 2000. These drought problems are characteristic for the entire region of the eastern part of Europe, with the drought in 2007 being particularly severe.

SEE ALSo: Climate Change, Effects; Drought.

BIBLioGRAPHY. David C. King, Serbia: Cultures of the World, 1st ed. ( Marshall Cavendish, 2005); Michael A. Schuman. Serbia and Montenegro (Facts on File, 2004).

Jelena Srebric Pennsylvania State University

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