The cold desert of North America, sometimes referred to as the Intermountain area, is comprised of a western Great Basin section and an eastern Colorado Plateau section. In general, the cold desert receives more than half of its annual precipitation as snow, and because of its more northern latitude or higher elevations, has relatively low average annual temperatures. Snow cover is common and may last for weeks, yet summers can be hot. The Great Basin section is slightly cooler than the Colorado Plateau section and receives less summer precipitation. Droughts are common, especially in the Colorado Plateau section.