The climate of the east coast is on the whole considerably more arctic than that of the west coast on corresponding latitudes; the land is much more completely snowcovered, and the snow-line goes considerably lower.
In less than five days across the snowcovered Escurial Pass, reaching Tordesillas on the Douro on the 26th of December.
On the other hand, since the spurs of the Taurus bring the winter cold a long way south, and the cold increases from west to east as we leave the mild coast of the Mediterranean, far down into the Mesopotamian plain the influence of the snowcovered ridges can be felt, and in the higher parts of the plain snow and ice are not infrequent; and although there is no point of sufficient altitude to retain snow for long, the temperature may fall as low as 14° F., especially if the cold north winds are blowing.
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