Kutaisi (Georgian: ქუთაისი; ancient names: Aea/Aia, Kotais, Kutatisi, Kutaïssi, is Georgia’s second largest city, legislative capital, and the capital of the western region of Imereti. It is 221 kilometres (137 miles) west of Tbilisi.

Geography

Kutaisi is located along both banks of the Rioni River. The city lies at an elevation of 125–300 metres (410–984 feet) above sea level. To the east and northeast, Kutaisi is bounded by the Northern Imereti Foothills, to the north by the Samgurali Range, and to the west and the south by the Colchis Plain.

Landscape

Kutaisi is surrounded by deciduous forests to the northeast and the northwest. The low-lying outskirts of the city have a largely agricultural landscape. The city centre has many gardens its streets are lined with high, leafy trees. In the springtime, when the snow starts to melt in the nearby mountains, the storming Rioni River in the middle of the city is heard far beyond its banks.

Climate

The climate in Kutaisi is humid subtropical with a well-defined on-shore/monsoonal flow (characteristic of the Colchis Plain) during the Autumn and Winter months. The summers are generally hot and relatively dry while the winters are wet and cool. Average annual temperature in the city is 14.5 degrees Celsius. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 5.3 degrees Celsius while July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 23.2 degrees Celsius. The absolute minimum recorded temperature is −17 degrees Celsius and the absolute maximum is 44 degrees Celsius. Average annual precipitation is around 1,530 mm (60.24 in). Rain may fall in every season of the year. The city often experiences heavy, wet snowfall (snowfall of 30 cm/12 inches or more per single snowstorm is not uncommon) in the winter, but the snow cover usually does not last for more than a week. Kutaisi experiences powerful easterly winds in the summer which descend from the nearby mountains.