continental climate

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continental climate
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{{For|the influence of continental climates on viticulture|continental climate (wine)}}{{Refimprove|date=November 2007}}(File:Koppen-Geiger_Map_D_present.svg|thumb|500px|Areas of the world that feature a continental climate, according to Köppen)Continental climates often have a significant annual variation in temperature (hot summers and cold winters).{{specify|reason=There are several more specific definitions, which can be simplified for this intro.|date=February 2015}} They tend to occur in the middle latitudes (40 to 55 north), where prevailing winds blow overland, and temperatures are not moderated by bodies of water such as oceans or seas. Continental climates occur mostly in the Northern Hemisphere, which has the kind of large landmasses on temperate latitudes required for this type of climate to develop. Most of northern and northeastern China, eastern and southeastern Europe, central and southeastern Canada, and the central and northeastern United States have this type of climate.WEB, Continental Climate,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 2009-04-27, Encyclopedia of the Atmospheric Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, dead, In continental climates, precipitation tends to be moderate in amount, concentrated mostly in the warmer months. 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. A portion of the annual precipitation falls as snowfall, and snow often remains on the ground for more than a month. Summers in continental climates can feature thunderstorms and frequent hot temperatures; however, summer weather is more stable than winter weather.

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 {{convert|600|mm|in}} and {{convert|1200|mm|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. In some cases, the semi-arid climate classification of BSk can also be considered to be continental as long as it has cold winters. The definition of this climate regarding temperature is as follows: the mean temperature of the coldest month must be below {{convert|0|°C|1}} (or {{convert|−3|°C|1}}) and there must be at least four months whose mean temperatures are at or above {{convert|10|°C}}.


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 are either far from any moderating effect of oceans (examples: Omaha, Nebraska and Kazan, Russia) or are so situated that prevailing winds tend to head offshore (example: Boston, USA). Such regions get quite warm in the summer, achieving temperatures characteristic of tropical climates but are colder than any other climates of similar latitude in the winter.

Neighbouring climates

In the Koppen climate system, these climates grade off toward temperate climates equator-ward where winters are less severe and semi-arid climates where precipitation becomes inadequate for tall-grass prairies. In Europe these climates may grade off into oceanic climates in which the influence of cool oceanic 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 {{convert|10|C}}, might be considered a sub-type of the continental climate.

List of locations with a continental climate


(File:Jbel.Oukaimeden.jpg|thumb|right|View from Jbel Oukaïmeden in Morocco)


(File:Harbin Bank 01.jpg|thumb|Headquarter of Harbin Bank in Harbin)File:Odori Park Sapporo Snow Festival 2007.JPG|thumb|right|The snowy city of SapporoSapporoFile:Palandoken Erzurum 2009.JPG|thumb|Palandöken in August 2009, as seen from downtown Erzurum.]]


(File:Oslo Aker Brygge 2005 June 19.jpg|thumb|Aker Brygge in Oslo)(File:Andronikov_Monastery_18.jpg|thumb|Spassky Cathedral in Moscow)


North America

File:Rideau Canal Winter.jpeg|thumb|Ice skaters on the frozen Rideau Canal, looking south from Laurier Avenue BridgeLaurier Avenue Bridge File:2009-0605-Ilanaaq-2010Oly-Whistler.jpg|A statue of Ilanaaq, mascot of the 2010 Winter Olympics, located on Whistler MountainFile:Edmonton River Valley.jpg|alt=Edmonton River Valley|North Saskatchewan River valley in EdmontonFile:Forks Riverwalk.jpg|The Forks, with St. Boniface Cathedral in the background in WinnipegFile:Skyline as viewed from Sam Smith.jpg|Toronto skyline taken from Colonel Samuel Smith Park in EtobicokeFile:Downtown view from SAIT.JPG|Downtown Calgary from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) campusFile:Le Stade Olympique 3.jpg|Olympic Stadium in MontrealFile:Québec City shore.JPG|Quebec City shoreFile:Halifaxskyline.jpg|Halifax as seen from the Dartmouth waterfrontFile:StJohns Newfoundland.jpg|Duckworth Street in St. John'sFile:The Mountain Exhaled edit.jpg|Lake Louise, AlbertaFile:20090524 Buildings along Chicago River line the south border of the Near North Side and Streeterville and the north border of Chicago Loop, Lakeshore East and Illinois Center.jpg|thumb|alt=Buildings along the sides of a river in a panorama view|The Chicago River, with the Near North Side and Streeterville on the right, the Chicago Loop, Lakeshore East, and Illinois Center on the left, and Trump Tower at the jog in the river in the center. This view is looking west from Lake Shore Drive's Outer Drive Bridge.]](File:New Haven, Vermont town green in winter.jpg|thumb|Vermont winter scene) File:Rainbow Bridge Rainbow.jpg|Rainbow Bridge and the American Falls in Niagara FallsFile:Pitt Skyline.jpg|Downtown Pittsburgh from Station SquareFile:Boone NC - aerial.jpg|Boone, NC as seen from Howard's KnobFile:USA Massachusetts Boston Foliage.jpg|Boston's skyline in the background, with fall foliage in the foregroundFile:Flagstaffazm.jpg|San Francisco Peaks from Flagstaff, AZ


missing image!
- Charlotte Pass, winter view.jpg -
Looking through Charlotte Pass towards the main range in winter.
(File:Cabramurra12.JPG|thumbnail|Cabramurra Community Hall in winter)(File:Lake_Tekapo,_2007.jpg|thumb|right|Lake Tekapo, Mackenzie Basin, New Zealand)While there are no major cities in Oceania that fall in to the classification of a continental climate, there are some more sparsely populated areas that have this climate.

South America

While there are no major cities in South America that fall in to the classification of a continental climate, there are some remote places that have this climate. Due to the influence of the Ocean, Patagonia, including cities such as Punta Arenas, Chile and Ushuaia, Argentina, have an average winter temperature above 0°C, and so are classified as an oceanic climate.

See also



External links

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