The majority of Germany is characterised by a moderate seasonal climate that is dominated by humid western winds. The country lies between the oceanic western European climate and the continental eastern European climate. The climate is tempered by the North Atlantic Drift, the northern extension of the Gulf Stream. This warmer water affects areas bordering the North Sea, so the climate in the northwest and north is oceanic. Germany receives an average of 789 mm of precipitation per year; there is no continuous dry season. Winters are cool and summers tend to be hot: temperatures can exceed 30°C.
The east has a more continental climate: winters can be very cold and summers very hot, and there can be prolonged dry periods. Central and southern Germany are transitional regions, ranging from temperate oceanic to continental. In addition to the maritime and continental climate that prevails in most of the country, there is a mountain climate with lower temperatures and more precipitation in the Alpine regions in the extreme south and, to a lesser extent, in some areas of the low mountain range.