The Gobi Desert spans across part of China and into Mongolia. Spanning 500,000 square miles (1,295,000 square kilometers), it is the largest desert in Asia, and the fourth largest in the world. In terms of climate, it is one of extremes. Sitting at nearly 3000 feet above sea level, in combination with being so far north, the weather can be quite extreme. It can get up to 100F (38C) in the summer, and down to -45F (-43C) in the winter. It is not unheard of to see frost or snow on the dunes when there is precipitation.
The desert is north of the Himalayas, which block most of the rain-carrying clouds from ever reaching the Gobi, thus it only barely averages 8 inches of rain per year.