Climate and Vegetation

A Climates
Tropical humid climates

little seasonality

ITCZ sits on top of them all year -> much precip


B Climates
Hot Dry Climates


due to STH or shadow (wrong side of mtn)


N from STH -> polar front occasionally comes through w/ cyclone precip

C Climates
Mild Mid Latitude Climates

Hot/Warm or Cool

grab bag for climates that don’t fit into other catgories

hot summer

seasonally variable precipitation

cyclonic frontal precipitation

D Climates
Cold Midlatitude Climates

N. USA, S. Canada

warmest month, avg. temp ; 10;C

cyclonic frontal precipitation

precip varies seasonally


E Climates
Polar Climates

very cold

warmest month ; 10;C

ex: antarctica, alaska, n. canada

a temperature subtype
warmest month above or equal to 22;C

Used for C and D Climate Types

;b temperature subtype
warmest temp below 22;C

used for C and D climate types

c temperature subtype
less than four months of year over 10;C

used for C and D climates

d temperature sybtype
less than four months of the year over 10;C

coldest month of year below -37;C

used for D climates

h temperature subtypes
hot and dry

all months above 0;C

used for B climates

k temperature subtype
cool and dry

at least one month below 0;C

used for B types

s precipitation subtype
dry season in summer

70% or more of annual precipitation falls in winter

used for C climates

w precipitation subtype
dry season in winter

70% or more precipitation falls in summer

A, C, or D climates

f precipitation subtype
constantly moist

rainfall consistent throughout the year

A, C, or D climates

m precipitation subtype
monsoon rain

short dry season

precipitation in driest month ; 6cm and total anual precipitation ; 125cm

  • 5-25; N/s
  • monsoon
  • tropical easterlies NE/SE trades
  • peak precip @ max sun P;PET (ITCZ shift)
  • min precip @ min sun P;PET
  • small temp variation
  • noticable dry season
  • ex: west african coast, india
  • 5-20; N/S
  • tropical savanna
  • tropical and equatorial air masses
  • often continental (dry)
  • wet season @ max sun
  • dry season @ min sun
  • less P, more variation in T than Af, Am
  • ex: kenya, central/south america
  • 0-10;N/S
  • tropical rianforest
  • precip from lifting due to hadly cell
  • uniform temp and precip over year
  • P;;PET -; runoff


  • 15-35;N/S
  • Hot Desert (Bwh)
  • Cold Desert (Bwk)
  • high pressure from sth
  • cT air masses (hot, dry)
  • some temp variation
  • low or no precip
  • PET ;;P
  • Bwh ex: sahara, centra australia, central asia, arizona
  • Bwk ex: gobi desert, new mexico, sw texas
  • 15-25; N/S
  • Hot Low Latitude Steppe
  • periphery of hot desert
  • summer STH
  • winter cyclonic precip on ITCZ
  • transition from Bwh to Aw
  • ex: sahel, iran, afghanistan
  • 35-55;N/S
  • Cold Midlatitude Steppe
  • dry: 20-40 cm/year and variable
  • some cyclonic precipitation
  • often in rainshadow
  • cP air masses in winter
  • local continental air masses in summer
  • hot summers/cold winters
  • precip from mP and mT air masses
  • ex: Boulder!! s. america east of andes, central asia


  • 20-35;N/S
  • Humid Subtropical
  • maritime tropical air out of STH
  • occaisional cool polar air
  • cool winter, hot/humid summer
  • moderately high precip year round
  • more precip in summer
  • Cwa -; distinct dry season in winter
  • P;Pet
  • ex: SE USA, SE chna, S Japan, E australia
Csb, Csa
  • 30-45; N/S
  • Mediterranean
  • high pressure and continental dry air (summer)
  • mP in winter -; more moist
  • low temp variation
  • low precip – concentrated in winter
  • P;PET winter
  • P;PET summer
  • Csa = hotter than Csb in summer
  • ex: mediterannean, SW US coast, SW australia
  • be able to look @ precip vs temp and say this is west coast somewhere
  • peak temp and min precip = west coast phenomenon
Cfb, Cfa
  • 35-60;
  • Marine West Coast
  • cyclone precip, mP air mass
  • max precip winter
  • orographic effect -; much precip
  • P;PET
  • low annual temp variation for latitude
  • ex: pacific nw, wester europe, new zeland, chile
Dfa, Dwa, Dfb, Dwb
  • 30-55;
  • Humid Continental
  • at polar front -; collision of polar and tropical air masses -; cyclonic precipitation
  • mT in summer -; more precip
  • cP and cA in winter -; cold
  • in europe extends further N (mP air masses)
  • large annual temp range
  • ex: NE US, Canada, Central and E Europe, N China
Dfc, Dwc, Dwd
  • 50-70;
  • Sub Arctic
  • source for cP air masses
  • cold, dry, stable
  • maritime air in summer -; cyclonic precip
  • short, cool summer
  • long, cold winter
  • large annual temp variation
  • alaska, canada, russia, n. scandanavia


Tundra and Ice Sheet