The climate of this zone is largely dependent on the lie of the Southern Alps to the west, but many areas are also sheltered by high country to the south and east. Mean rainfall is low, and long dry spells can occur, especially in summer. Summer afternoons are very warm, with high temperatures occurring when hot dry foehn northwesterlies blow over the Alps. Typical summer daytime maximum air temperatures range from 20°C to 26°C, occasionally rising above 30°C. Winters are very cold with frequent, often severe frosts, and occasional snowfalls. In severe cases, snow may lie for several days or longer. Typical winter daytime maximum air temperatures range from 3°C to 11°C. Wind flow is dependent on topography, however the strongest winds are often from the northwest.