World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Continental climate

Article Id: WHEBN0000249613
Reproduction Date:

Title: Continental climate  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Germany, Geography of the Republic of Macedonia, Missouri River, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Climate change, Innsbruck, Extremadura, Klagenfurt, Shanxi
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Continental climate

For the influence of continental climates on viticulture, see continental climate (wine).

Continental climate is a climate characterized by important annual variation in temperature due to the lack of significant bodies of water nearby. Often winter temperature is cold enough to support a fixed period of snow each year, and relatively moderate precipitation occurring mostly in summer, although there are exceptions such as the upper east coast areas of North America in Canada which show an even distribution of precipitation: this pattern is called Humid continental climate, but dry continental climates also exist. Regions with a continental climate exist in portions of the Northern Hemisphere continents (especially North America[1] and Asia), and at higher elevations in other parts of the world.

Only a few areas, in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest of North America and in Iran, northern Iraq, adjacent Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia show a winter maximum in precipitation.

Ecosystems

Regions with continental climate generally have either forest or tall-shrubs prairie as natural ground protecter and include some of the most productive farmlands in the world. All such climates have at least three months of temperatures in excess of 10 °C (50 °F) and winters with at least one month below −3 °C (26.6 °F) or 0 °C (32 °F) depending on the classification used.

Temperatures

Average temperature ranges
season day-time temperature range night-time temperature range
Maximum Minimum Maximum Minimum
°F °C °F °C °F °C °F °C
summer 90 32 70 21 65 18 50 10
winter 45 7 10 −12 25 −4 −10 −23

Spring and autumn

The timing of intermediate spring-like or autumn-like temperatures in this zone vary depending on latitude and/or elevation. For example, spring may arrive as soon as early March in the southern parts of this zone, or as late as May in the north. Annual precipitation in this zone is usually between 600 millimetres (24 in) to 1,200 millimetres (47 in), most of it in the form of snow during winter. It also has cold winters and warm summers.

Köppen climate classification

Most such areas fit Köppen classifications of Dfa, Dwa (cold winters, hot summers; "w" indicating very dry winters characteristic especially of China) or Dfb or Dwb (cold winters, warm summers, same distinction for winter dryness). Dry summer continental climates (Dsa and Dsb) exist in high altitude areas near Mediterranean climates.

Climatology

Continental climates exist where cold air masses infiltrate during the winter and warm air masses form in summer under conditions of high sun and long days. Places with continental climates are as a rule either far from any moderating effects of oceans (examples: Omaha, Nebraska, USA and Kazan, Russia) or are so situated that prevailing winds tend to head offshore (example: Vladivostok, Russia). Such regions get quite warm in the summer, achieving temperatures characteristic of tropical climates but are much colder than any other climates of similar latitude in the winter.

Neighboring climates

These climates grade off toward subtropical climates equator-ward where winters are less severe and semiarid climates where precipitation becomes inadequate for tall-grass prairies. In Europe these climates may grade off into oceanic climates in which the influence of moderating air masses is more marked toward the west. The subarctic climate (Köppen: Dfc), with very cold, long and dry winters, but with at least one month above 10 °C (50 °F), might be considered a sub-type of the continental climate.

Examples

Example of areas of the world with continental climates are the Northern USA (Intermountain West, Midwestern, New England), southern Canada, inland and northeastern China, Korea, northern Japan, most of Russia and Bosnia, parts of Norway, Sweden, inner parts of Spain and Turkey, parts of north and north-west of Iran, northern Iraq specifically Iraqi Kurdistan, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, some parts of Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. A continental climate can also be found in many valleys around mountains in the North Temperate Zone; such as the Alps (in France, Italy, Switzerland and Austria), the Pyrenees (in Spain, Andorra and France) or the Himalayas (in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China, Nepal, Burma and Bhutan).

Continental climates generally do not exist in the Southern Hemisphere due to the lack of broad land masses at middle latitudes, the southernmost parts of Africa and Australia being under marine influences and southern South America being too narrow in breadth to allow cold air masses to form. However, certain areas, such as New Zealand's South Island high country, experience conditions similar to those of continental climates. Antarctica lies completely outside the middle latitudes.

See also

References

External links

  • http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Europe/France-CLIMATE.html#Comments_form

Template:Koppen

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.