Morocco, bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the east and southeast by Algeria, on the south by Western Sahara, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The southeastern boundary, in the Sahara, is not precisely defined. Within Morocco are the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, on the Mediterranean coast. Several small islands off the northern coast of Morocco are also possessions of Spain. From 1912 to 1956 Morocco itself was divided into French and Spanish protectorates. The area of Morocco is 453,730 sq km (175,186 sq mi). Climate: Morocco has a subtropical climate, tempered by oceanic influences that give the coastal cities moderate temperatures. Toward the interior, winters are colder and summers warmer. At high altitudes temperatures of less than -17.8° C (0° F) are not uncommon, and mountain peaks are covered with snow during most of the year. Rain falls mainly during the winter months. Precipitation is heaviest in the northwest and lightest in the east and south.