The Temperate Climate
Temperate climates are those without extremes of temperature and precipitation (rain and snow). The changes between summer and winter are generally invigorating without being frustratingly extreme. There are two types of temperate climate: maritime and continental. The maritime climate is strongly influenced by the oceans, which maintain fairly steady temperatures across the seasons. Since the prevailing winds are westerly in the temperate zones, the western edge of continents in these areas experience most commonly the maritime climate. Such regions include Western Europe, in particular the UK, and western North America at latitudes between 40 and 60° north.
Continentally increases inland, with warmer summers and colder winters as the effect of land on heat receipt and loss increases. This is particularly true in North America, where the north-south aligned Rocky Mountains act as a climate barrier to the mild maritime air blowing from the west. Maritime climate, on the other hand, penetrates further into Europe where the major mountain range - the Alps - is orientated east-west.
Deciduous Forest Biome - Moist Continental Climate (Cf)
This climate is in the polar front zone - the battleground of polar and tropical air masses. Seasonal changes between summer and winter are very large. Daily temperatures also change often. Abundant precipitation falls throughout the year. It is increased in the summer season by invading tropical air masses. Cold winters are caused by polar and arctic masses moving south.
- Temperature Range: 31 °C (56 ° F)
- Average Annual Precipitation: 81 cm (32 in).
- Latitude Range: 30° - 55° N and S (Europe: 45° - 60° N).
- Eastern parts of the United States and southern Canada; northern China; Korea; Japan; central and eastern
Grasslands Biome - Midlatitude Climates (Bs)
These dry climates are limited to the interiors of North America and Eurasia. Ocean air masses are blocked by mountain ranges to the west and south. This allows polar air masses to dominate in winter months. In the summer, a local continental air mass is dominant. A small amount of rain falls during this season.
Annual temperatures range widely. Summers are warm to hot, but winters are cold.
- Temperature Range: 31 °C (56°F).
- Annual Precipitation: 81 cm. (32 in.).
- Latitude Range: 30° - 55° N and S
- Global Position: western North America (Great Basin, Columbia Plateau, Great Plains); Eurasian interior.