Mediterranean climate

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Mediterranean climate
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{{short description|Type of climate}}{{For|the influence of Mediterranean climates on viticulture|Mediterranean climate (wine)}}{{For|the climate specifically of the Mediterranean Sea|Climate of the Mediterranean Sea}}(File:Cs climate.png|upright=1.8|thumb|Regions with Mediterranean climates{{legend|#FFFF00|Hot-summer mediterranean climate (Csa)}}{{legend|#C6C700|Warm-summer mediterranean climate (Csb)}}{{legend|#BF6000|Cold-summer mediterranean climate (Csc)}})File:Tossa de Mar View.jpg|thumb|The coastal Mediterranean region of Costa Brava, SpainSpainA Mediterranean climate {{IPAc-en|ˌ|m|ɛ|d|ɪ|t|ə|ˈ|r|eɪ|n|i|ə|n}} or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate receives its name from the Mediterranean Basin, where this climate type is most common. Mediterranean climate zones are typically located along the western sides of continents, between roughly 30 and 45 degrees north and south of the equator. The main cause of Mediterranean, or dry summer climate, is the subtropical ridge which extends northwards during the summer and migrates south during the winter due to increasing north-south temperature differences. The resulting vegetation of Mediterranean climates are the garrigue or maquis in the Mediterranean Basin, the chaparral in California, the fynbos in South Africa, the mallee in Australia, and the matorral in Chile. Areas with this climate are where the so-called "Mediterranean trinity" of agricultural products have traditionally developed: wheat, vine and olive.Most large, historic cities of the Mediterranean basin lie within Mediterranean climatic zones, including Algiers, Athens, Beirut, İzmir, Jerusalem, Marseille, Naples, Rome, Tunis, and Valencia. Major cities with Mediterranean climates outside of the Mediterranean basin include Adelaide, Cape Town, Casablanca, Dushanbe, Los Angeles, Lisbon, Perth, San Francisco, Seattle, Santiago and Victoria.

Köppen climate classification

Under the Köppen climate classification, "hot dry-summer" climates (classified as Csa) and "cool dry-summer" climates (classified as Csb) are often referred to as "Mediterranean". Under the Köppen climate system, the first letter indicates the climate group (in this case temperate climates). Temperate climates or "C" zones have an average temperature above {{convert|0|C|F}} (or {{convert|-3|C|F}}), but below {{convert|18|C|F}}, in their coolest months. The second letter indicates the precipitation pattern ("s" represents dry summers). Köppen has defined a dry summer month as a month with less than {{convert|30|mm|abbr=on}} of precipitation and as a month within the high-sun months of April to September, in the case of the Northern Hemisphere and October to March, in the case of the Southern Hemisphere, and it also must contain exactly or less than one-third that of the wettest winter month. Some, however, use a {{convert|40|mm|abbr=on}} level.JOURNAL,weblink Markus, Kottek, Jürgen, Grieser, Christoph, Beck, Bruno, Rudolf, Franz, Rube, World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated, Meteorologische Zeitschrift, June 2006, 15, 3, 259–263, 2011-02-27, 10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130, 2006MetZe..15..259K, JOURNAL,weblink M. C., Peel, B. L., Finlayson, T. A., McMahon, Updated world map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 2007, 4, 439–473, 2011-02-27, 10.5194/hessd-4-439-2007, 2, The third letter indicates the degree of summer heat: "a" represents an average temperature in the warmest month above {{convert|22|C|F}}, while "b" indicates the average temperature in the warmest month below {{convert|22|C}}.Under the Köppen classification, dry-summer climates (Csa, Csb) usually occur on the western sides of continents. Csb zones in the Köppen system include areas normally not associated with Mediterranean climates but with Oceanic climates, such as much of the Pacific Northwest, much of southern Chile, parts of west-central Argentina, and parts of New Zealand.JOURNAL,weblink M. C., Peel, B. L., Finlayson, T. A., McMahon, Updated world map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 2007, 11, 5, 1633–1644, 2011-02-27, 10.5194/hess-11-1633-2007, Additional highland areas in the subtropics also meet Cs requirements, though they, too, are not normally associated with Mediterranean climates, as do a number of oceanic islands such as Madeira, the Juan Fernández Islands, the western part of the Canary Islands, and the eastern part of the Azores.Under Trewartha's modified Köppen climate classification, the two major requirements for a Cs climate are revised. Under Trewartha's system, at least eight months must have average temperatures of {{convert|10|C}} or higher (subtropical), and the average annual precipitation must not exceed {{convert|900|mm|in|abbr=on}}. Thus, under this system, many Csb zones in the Köppen system become Do (temperate oceanic), and the rare Csc zones become Eo (subpolar oceanic), with only the classic dry-summer to warm winter, low annual rainfall locations included in the Mediterranean type climate.


{{rquote|right|It [Chile] has six, months of winter, no more, and in them, except when there is a quarter moon, when it rains one or two days, all the other days have such beautiful suns...|Pedro de Valdivia to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor}}During summer, regions of Mediterranean climate are strongly influenced by the subtropical ridge which keeps atmospheric conditions very dry with minimal cloud coverage. In some areas, such as coastal California, the cold current has a stabilizing effect on the surrounding air, further reducing the chances for rain, but often causing thick layers of marine fog that usually evaporates by mid-day. Similar to desert climates, in many Mediterranean climates there is a strong diurnal character to daily temperatures in the warm summer months due to strong heating during the day from sunlight and rapid cooling at night.In winter, the subtropical ridge migrates towards the equator, making rainfall much more likely. As a result, areas with this climate receive almost all of their precipitation during their winter and spring seasons, and may go anywhere from 3 to 6 months during the summer and early fall without having any significant precipitation. In the lower latitudes, precipitation usually decreases in both the winter and summer. Toward the polar latitudes, total moisture usually increases, for instance, the Mediterranean climate in Southern Europe has more rain. The rainfall also tends to be more evenly distributed throughout the year in Southern Europe, while in the Eastern Mediterranean, and in Southern California, the summer is nearly or completely dry. In places where evapotranspiration is higher, steppe climates tend to prevail, but still follow the weather pattern of the Mediterranean climate.


The majority of the regions with Mediterranean climates have relatively mild winters and very warm summers. However winter and summer temperatures can vary greatly between different regions with a Mediterranean climate. For instance, in the case of winters, Barcelona and Los Angeles experience mild temperatures in the winter, with frost and snowfall almost unknown, whereas Tashkent has colder winters with annual frosts and snowfall. Or to consider summer, Athens experiences rather high temperatures in that season ({{convert|48|C|F}} has been measured in nearby Eleusis). In contrast, San Francisco has cool summers with daily highs around {{convert|21|C|F}} due to the continuous upwelling of cold subsurface waters along the coast.Because most regions with a Mediterranean climate are near large bodies of water, temperatures are generally moderate with a comparatively small range of temperatures between the winter low and summer high (although the daily range of temperature during the summer is large due to dry and clear conditions, except along the immediate coasts). Temperatures during winter only occasionally fall below the freezing point and snow is generally seldom seen. In the summer, the temperatures range from mild to very hot, depending on distance from a large body of water, elevation, and latitude. Even in the warmest locations with a Mediterranean-type climate, however, temperatures usually do not reach the highest readings found in adjacent desert regions because of cooling from water bodies, although strong winds from inland desert regions can sometimes boost summer temperatures, quickly increasing the risk of wildfires.As in every climatologic domain, the highland locations of the Mediterranean domain can present cooler temperatures in winter than the lowland areas, temperatures which can sometimes prohibit the growth of typical Mediterranean plants. Some Spanish authors opt to use the term "Continental Mediterranean climate" for some regions with lower temperature in winter than the coastal areasWEB,weblink España a Través de los Mapas,, (direct translation from ), but most climate classifications (including Köppen's Cs zones) show no distinction.Additionally, the temperature and rainfall pattern for a Csa or even a Csb climate can exist as a microclimate in some high-altitude locations adjacent to a rare tropical As (tropical savanna climate with dry summers, typically in a rainshadow region).These have a favourable climate with mild wet winters and fairly warm, dry summers.

Mediterranean biome

File:Ionian sea islands, pic8.JPG|thumb|The Ionian Sea, view from the island LefkadaLefkadaFile:Makarska riviera.jpg|thumb|Makarska in DalmatiaDalmatiaThe Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome is closely associated with Mediterranean climate zones, as are unique freshwater communities. Particularly distinctive of the climate are sclerophyll shrublands, called maquis in the Mediterranean Basin, chaparral in California, matorral in Chile, fynbos in South Africa, and mallee and kwongan shrublands in Australia. Aquatic communities in Mediterranean climate regions are adapted to a yearly cycle in which abiotic (environmental) controls of stream populations and community structure dominate during floods, biotic components (e.g. competition and predation) controls become increasingly important as the discharge declines, and environmental controls regain dominance as environmental conditions become very harsh (i.e. hot and dry); as a result, these communities are well suited to recover from droughts, floods, and fires.JOURNAL, Gasith, A. and V.H. Resh, Streams in mediterranean Climate Regions: Abiotic Influences and Biotic Responses to Predictable Seasonal Events, Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst., 1999, 30, 51–81, 10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.30.1.51, Aquatic organisms in these regions show distinct long-term patterns in structure and function,JOURNAL, Resh, V.H., L.A. Bêche, J.E. Lawrence, R.D. Mazor, E.P. McElravy, A.H. Purcell, S.M. Carlson, Long-term Population and Community Patterns of Benthic Macroinvertebrates and Fishes in Northern California Mediterranean-climate Streams, Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 719, 93–118, 2013, 10.1007/s10750-012-1373-9, and are also highly sensitive to the effects of climate change.JOURNAL, Lawrence, J.E., K.B. Lunde, R.D. Mazor, L.A. Bêche, E.P. McElravy, V.H. Resh, Long-Term Macroinvertebrate Responses to Climate Change: Implications for Biological Assessment in Mediterranean-Climate Streams, Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 29, 4, 1424–1440, 2010, 10.1899/09-178.1, JOURNAL, Filipe, A.F., J.E. Lawrence, N. Bonada, Vulnerability of Biota in Mediterranean Streams to Climate Change: A Synthesis of Ecological Responses and Conservation Challenges, Hydrobiologia, 719, 331–351, November 2013, 10.1007/s10750-012-1244-4, 2445/48186,

Natural vegetation

The native vegetation of Mediterranean climate lands must be adapted to survive long, hot summer droughts and prolonged wet periods in winter. Mediterranean vegetation examples include the following:BOOK, Dallman, Peter, Plant Life in the World's Mediterranean Climates, 1998, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 9780520208094,weblink Much native vegetation in Mediterranean climate area valleys have been cleared for agriculture. In places such as the Sacramento Valley and Oxnard Plain in California, draining marshes and estuaries combined with supplemental irrigation has led to a century of intensive agriculture. Much of the Overberg in the southern Cape of South Africa, once covered with renosterveld, has likewise been largely converted to agriculture, mainly wheat. In hillside and mountainous areas, away from urban sprawl, ecosystems and habitats of native vegetation are more sustained.The fynbos vegetation in the South-western Cape in South Africa is famed for its high floral diversity, and includes such plant types as members of the Restionaceae, Ericas (Heaths) and Proteas. Representatives of the Proteaceae also grow in Australia, such as Banksias.The palette of California native plants is also renowned for its species and cultivar diversity.

{{anchor|Hot-summer_mediterranean_climate}}Hot-summer Mediterranean climate

(File:Koppen-Geiger Map Csa present.svg|upright=1.8|thumb|{{legend|#FFFF00|Hot-summer mediterranean climate (Csa)}})This subtype of the Mediterranean climate (Csa) is the most common form of the Mediterranean climate; therefore, it is also known as a “typical Mediterranean climate”. As stated earlier, regions with this form of a Mediterranean climate experience average monthly temperatures in excess of {{convert|22|C|F|1}} during its warmest month and an average in the coldest month between {{convert|18|and|−3|C|F|1}} or, in some applications, between {{convert|18|and|0|C|F|1}}. Also, at least four months must average above {{convert|10|C|F}}. Regions with this form of the Mediterranean climate typically experience hot, sometimes very hot and dry summers and mild, wet winters. In a number of instances, summers here can closely resemble summers seen in arid and semi-arid climates. However, high temperatures during summers are generally not quite as high as those in arid or semiarid climates due to the presence of a large body of water. All areas with this subtype have wet winters. However, some areas with a hot Mediterranean subtype can actually experience very chilly winters, with occasional snowfall. Csa climates are mainly found around the Mediterranean Sea, southwestern Australia, southwestern South Africa, sections of Central Asia, northern sections of Iran and Iraq, the interior of northern California west of the Sierra Nevada, and inland areas of southern Oregon west of the Cascade Mountains. Southern California's coasts also experience hot summers due to the shielding effect of the Channel Islands. However, unshielded areas of that coastline can have warm-summer Mediterranean climates with hot-summer areas just a few kilometres inland.{{climate chart| Valencia, Spain
17 | 37.0 17 | 36.0 19 | 33.0 21 | 38.0 23 | 39.0 27 | 22.0 30 | 8.0 30 | 20.0 28 | 70.0 24 | 77.0 20 | 47.0 17 | 48.0|float = left|clear = noneAgencia Estatal de MeteorologíaHTTP://WWW.AEMET.ES/ES/SERVICIOSCLIMATICOS/DATOSCLIMATOLOGICOS/VALORESCLIMATOLOGICOS?L=8416&K=VALFIRST=AGENCIA ESTATAL DEWEBSITE=WWW.AEMET.ES, HTTP://WWW.AEMET.ES/ES/SERVICIOSCLIMATICOS/DATOSCLIMATOLOGICOS/EFEMERIDES_EXTREMOS*?W=0&K=VAL&L=8414A&DATOS=DET&X=8414A&M=13&V=TODOS>TITLE=VALENCIA AEROPUERTO: VALENCIA AEROPUERTO - VALORES EXTREMOS ABSOLUTOS - SELECTOR - AGENCIA ESTATAL DE METEOROLOGíA - AEMET. GOBIERNO DE ESPAñALAST=METEOROLOGíA,, }}{{climate chart| Los Angeles, United States 20.1| 79.2 20.3 | 96.5 21.2 | 61.7 22.6 | 23.1 23.6 | 6.6 25.6 | 2.3 28.4 | 0.3 29.1 | 1 28.4 | 6.1 25.8 | 16.8 22.7 | 26.4 19.8 | 59.2|float = left|clear = none|source = NOAA weblink}}{{climate chartPerth, Western Australia>Perth, Australia 30.8 | 9.5 31.3 | 12.8 29.5 | 19.4 25.5 | 44.2 22.4 | 117.7 19.3 | 176.7 18.4 | 169.9 18.8 | 134.1 20.1 | 80.9 22.8 | 52.4 26.2 | 22.2 28.7 | 12.8|float=left|clear=noneBureau of Meteorology>BoMHTTP://WWW.BOM.GOV.AU/CLIMATE/AVERAGES/TABLES/CW_009034.SHTML >TITLE=PERTH MONTHLY CLIMATE STATISTICS ACCESSDATE=2010-08-02, }}{{clear}}

Warm-summer Mediterranean climate

(File:Koppen-Geiger Map Csb present.svg|upright=1.8|thumb|{{legend|#c7c700|Warm-summer mediterranean climate (Csb)}})Occasionally also termed “Cool-summer Mediterranean climate”, this subtype of the Mediterranean climate (Csb) is the less common form of the Mediterranean climate. Cool ocean currents and upwelling are often the reason for this cooler type of Mediterranean climate. As stated earlier, regions with this subtype of the Mediterranean climate experience warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above {{convert|22|C|F}} during its warmest month and an average in the coldest month between {{convert|18|and|−3|C|F}} or, in some applications, between {{convert|18|and|0|C|F}}. Also, at least four months must average above {{convert|10|C|F}}. Winters are rainy and can be mild to chilly. In a few instances, snow can fall on these areas. Precipitation occurs in the colder seasons, but there are a number of clear sunny days even during the wetter seasons.Csb climates are found in northwestern Iberia, namely Galicia and the north of Portugal, coastal California, western Washington and Oregon, southern portions of Vancouver Island in British ColumbiaWEB,weblink WEB,weblink BOOK,weblink"mediterranean+climate"&dq=victoria+canada+"mediterranean+climate", Nature Canada, 1994, BOOK,weblink"mediterranean+climate"&dq=victoria+canada+"mediterranean+climate", Transactions of the Royal Canadian Institute, (1849-1914), Canadian Institute, Institute, Royal Canadian, 1949, BOOK,weblink"mediterranean+climate"#v=snippet&q=Mediterranean&f=false, Cincinnati Magazine, Communications, Emmis, June 1980, , central Chile, parts of southern Australia and sections of southwestern South Africa.{{climate chart| Porto, Portugal
13.5 |157.614.8 |139.716.8 |89.917.7 |115.619.5 |97.622.8 |4625 |18.325 |26.723.7 |7120.4 |13816.8 |158.414.5 |194.7|float=left|clear=noneInstituto de MeteorologiaHTTP://WWW.METEO.PT/PT/OCLIMA/NORMAIS/INDEX.HTML?PAGE=NORMAIS_PTO.XML PUBLISHER=INSTITUTO DE METEOROLOGIA, 2010-08-02, }}
{{climate chart| Victoria, British Columbia
7.0 | 94.3 8.6 | 71.7 10.6 | 46.5 13.1 | 28.5 15.9 | 25.8 17.9 | 20.7 19.8 | 14.0 20.1 | 19.7 18.5 | 27.4 13.8 | 51.2 9.4 | 98.9 7.1 | 108.9| float = left| clear = noneEnvironment CanadaHTTP://WWW.CLIMATE.WEATHEROFFICE.GC.CA/CLIMATE_NORMALS/RESULTS_E.HTML?STNID=113&LANG=E&DCODE=0&PROVINCE=BC&PROVBUT=SEARCH&MONTH1=0&MONTH2=12 WORK = CANADIAN CLIMATE NORMALS 1971–2000 LANGUAGE = ENGLISH, FRENCH DATE = 2011-01-19, }}{{climate chart| Cape Town, South Africa26.1 |1526.5 |1725.4 |2023 |4120.3 |6918.1 |93
2.0 |4.3 |85.22.7 |3.6 |83.51.0 |6.1 |72.20.1 |6 |118.6|float = left|clear = none|source= The Western Regional Climate CenterHTTP://WWW.WRCC.DRI.EDU/CGI-BIN/CLIMAIN.PL?HI1008> TITLE =SEASONAL TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION INFORMATION
17.5 |8217.8 |7719.2 |4021.3 |3023.5 |1424.9 |17|float=left|clear=noneWorld Meteorological Organization>WMOHTTP://WWW.WORLDWEATHER.ORG/035/C00138.HTM >TITLE=WEATHER INFORMATION FOR CAPE TOWN ACCESSDATE=2010-08-02, }}{{clear}}

Cold-summer Mediterranean climate

(File:Köppen Csc US West Coast.png|thumb|Distribution of the relatively rare cold-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen type Csc) in Washington, Oregon and California.)The cold-summer subtype of the Mediterranean climate (Csc) is rare and predominately found at scattered high-altitude locations along the west coasts of North and South America. This type is characterized by cool summers, with fewer than four months with a mean temperature at or above {{convert|10|C}}, as well as with mild winters, with no winter month having a mean temperature below {{convert|0|C}} (or {{convert|-3|C|disp=sqbr}}), depending on the isotherm used). Regions with this climate are influenced by the dry-summer trend that extends considerably poleward along the west coast of the Americas, as well as the moderating influences of high altitude and relative proximity to the Pacific Ocean.In North America, areas with Csc climate can be found in the Olympic, Cascade, Klamath, and Sierra Nevada ranges in Washington, Oregon and California. These locations are found at high altitude nearby lower altitude regions characterized by a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Csb) or hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa). A rare instance of this climate occurs in the tropics, on Haleakalā Summit in Hawaii.In South America, Csc regions can be found along the Andes in Chile and Argentina. The town of Balmaceda is one of the few towns confirmed to have this climate.Small areas with a Csc climate can also be found at high elevations in Corsica.{{cn|date=June 2018}}{{climate chart| Balmaceda, Chile
17.5 | 28.1 17.7 |20.415.7 |37.511.9 |53.67.8 |92.5
9.4 |49.012.6 |29.614.7 |28.316.4 |31.7|float = left|clear = noneDirección Meteorológica de Chile>DMCHTTP:// >TITLE=ESTADISTICA CLIMATOLOGICA TOMO III (PG 319-343) ACCESSDATE=JANUARY 15, 2013 ARCHIVE-DATE=APRIL 17, 2012 Información climatológica de estaciones chilenas>infochileHTTP://WWW.ATMOSFERA.CL/HTML/CLIMATOLOGIA/DATOS/CHILESUR.HTM >ARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://ARCHIVE.IS/20121209044738/HTTP://WWW.ATMOSFERA.CL/HTML/CLIMATOLOGIA/DATOS/CHILESUR.HTM ARCHIVE-DATE=2012-12-09 PUBLISHER=ATMOSFERA.CL, }}{{climate chartHaleakalā>Haleakala Summit, United States7.3 |203.29.9 |90.710.5 |77.511.2 |101.612.6 |34.314.6 |9.414.3 |11.914.7 |28.214.2 |40.413.8 |33.510.3 |103.9



External links

  • weblink" title="">Explanation of Mediterranean Climate (University of Wisconsin)
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