Algeria consists of a series of contrasting, approximately parallel east-west topographic zones. The narrow, discontinuous alluvial plains along the coast, which contain the most fertile land, are separated from the Sahara by the ranges and plateaus of the Atlas Mountains. The Tell Atlas, reaching heights of more than 2,300 m, includes the Hodna range and the spectacular Djurdjura massif of Kabylia, in northeastern Algeria. Separating the Tell Atlas from the Saharan Atlas is a semiarid plateau with an average elevation of 1,100 m. In the east the plateau merges with the Aures Mountains, which include Mount Chelia (2,331 m), the highest peak in northern Algeria. South of the Saharan Atlas is the immense Sahara, with its gravel expanses, occasional plateaus, sand dunes (ergs), and the lunarlike Ahaggar Mountains, where Mount Tahat, the nation's highest peak, rises to 3,003 m. The Satellight database does not cover the Sahara region.
Northern Algeria, in the temperate Mediterranean climate zone, has seasonal average temperatures ranging from 11°C to 25°C. In the ranges and plateaus of the Atlas Mountains, mean temperatures range from 4°C to 28°C. Temperatures in the Sahara often reach 50°C in summer but can drop to -10° C. Extreme daily temperature variations are common when the scorching sirocco winds blow in from the desert. Rainfall is abundant in the coastal region, although less rain falls in the west (380 mm annually in Oran) than in the east (660 mm annually in Alger). The Tell Atlas is also much drier in the west than it is in Kabylia, which receives about 1,020 mm of rainfall a year. The interior plateau receives about 300 mm of rainfall annually, the Saharan Atlas about 250 mm and the practically rainless Sahara less than 13 cm.
Total population is 29,183,032 (World Factbook, July 1996 est.). Over 90% of the population live in the north on about 20% of the land. The nation's largest cities--Alger, Oran, Constantine, and Annaba are located there.
Stations from the IDMP Network measure both daylight and solar radiation.

Clock Time: GMT+1. No Summer time shift.


More information is available at Amadeus or the Electric Library

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