Mild Mid-latitude Climates (Group C)

What climate characteristics is the mild mid-latitude group likely to have?

  • Temperature: The coldest month ranges from just below freezing to almost balmy, between −3 ºC and 18 ºC (27º to 64 ºF). Summers are mild with average temperatures above 10 ºC (50 ºF). Seasons are distinct.
  • Rainfall: There is plentiful annual rainfall in two of these climates, but the third has dry summers.

Dry Summer Subtropical or Mediterranean Climate (Cs)

A grape field.The Dry Summer Subtropical climate is found on the western sides of continents between about 30º and 45º latitude, and around the margins of the Mediterranean Sea. Annual rainfall typically ranges from about 30 to 90 cm (14 to 35 inches), most of which comes in the winter.

The climate is typical of coastal California, which sits beneath a summertime high pressure for about five months each year. Land and sea breezes make winters moderate and summers cool. Vegetation must survive long summer droughts. The scrubby, woody vegetation that thrives in this climate is called chaparral.

Humid Subtropical (Cfa)

tree-covered hills with a river running through a valley The Humid Subtropical climate zone is found mostly in the southeastern areas of continents. Rain falls throughout the year with annual averages between 80 and 165 cm (31 and 65 inches). Summer days are humid and hot, from the lower 30s up to 40 ºC (mid-80s up to 104 ºF). Afternoon and evening thunderstorms are common. These conditions are caused by warm tropical air passing over the hot continent and convective precipitation. Winters are mild, but mid-latitude storms called cyclones may bring snow and rain. The southeastern United States, with its hot humid summers and mild, but frosty winters, is typical of this climate zone.

Marine West Coast Climate (Cfb)

This climate lines western North America between 40º and 65º latitude, an area known as the Pacific Northwest, as well as much of western Europe. Ocean winds bring mild winters and cool summers. The temperature range, both daily and annually, is fairly small for the latitude. Rain falls year round, although summers are drier as the jet stream moves northward. Low clouds, fog, and drizzle are typical. In Western Europe the climate covers a larger region since no high mountains are near the coast to block wind blowing off the Atlantic.

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