Summary: World Climate Patterns

Josie Hurst

There are five major climate patterns:

  • Tropical
  • Dry
  • Midlatitude
  • High Latitude
  • Highland

Tropical Climates

Tropical climates are typically found near low altitudes. The two most widespread kinds are tropical wet and tropical dry. In tropical wet climates, the average temperature is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. There is warm, humid air along with a lot of rainfall, with the yearly average being around 80 inches. Tropical dry climates have dry winters and dry summers and high year-round temperatures.

Dry Climates

The two types of dry climates include deserts and steppes. Deserts are very dry areas with little vegetation, such as cactuses and scrubs. The yearly rainfall rarely exceeds 10 inches, and the temperatures widely vary from the hot daytime to the cool nights and from season to season. Steppes often border deserts, and are dry, largely treeless grasslands. The yearly rainfall is around 10 to 20 inches.

Midlatitude Climates

Midlatitude climates experience changing weather patterns throughout the year that creates a home for a variety of vegetation. There are four types of midlatitude climates: marine west coast, mediterranean, humid subtropical, and humid continental. Marine west coast climates are along western coastlines, which brings cool summers and cool, damp winters from the ocean. The abundant rainfall in these climates supports the growth of coniferous trees, trees with cones, and deciduous trees, those that have broad leaves. Mediterranean climates surround the Mediterranean Sea. They have mild, rainy winters and hot, sunny summers. The natural vegetation includes woody bushes and Mediterranean scrub, which are short trees. Humid subtropical climates have short, mild winters and almost year-round rain. The nearby oceans’ wind patterns and high pressure causes these climates to be very humid. Finally, humid continental climates experience longer and severer snowy winters along with shorter and cooler summers. the vegetation is similar to that found in marine west coast areas.

High Latitude Climates

High latitude climates experience freezing temperatures because of the lack of sunlight. The three types of this climate include subarctics, tundras, and ice caps. Subarctic climate regions lie south of the Arctic Circle. The winters are bitterly cold, while the summers are short and cool. These regions have the widest temperature ranges, varying from as much as 120 degrees Fahrenheit from winter to summer. These regions also have permafrost, which is a permanently frozen soil underneath the top layer. Tundra climate regions are closer to the Poles, and experience dark, bitterly cold winters lasting for several months, and long summers, without much difference in the temperatures. trees cannot grow because of the permafrost, so there is little vegetation. Finally, ice caps are constantly covered in a very thick layer of snow, allowing nearly no vegetation to grow. The only form of plant life able to grow on ice caps is lichens.

Highland Climates

Finally, Highland climates are high mountain areas that have many of the same characteristics of the high latitude climates. As you go farther up, the temperatures get continually cooler. Some forests can lie at the end of the mountain ranges, while higher up there are small meadows.


Boehm, Richard G. World Geography and Cultures. Columbus, Ohio: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.

“470px-ClimateMap_World.png.” Photograph. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, 2012. Web. January 8, 2012.

This entry was written by jhurst4ecspress and published on January 8, 2012 at 11:12 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Summary: World Climate Patterns

  1. What are the five major climate patterns?

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