The Temperate Climates
By Waqar Awan
Temperate climates are found 50 to 60 degrees north and south of equator. They are of basically two varieties, namely, the continental type and the maritime type.
The Continental Type
The stations located in this type of temperate zone are located quite far-off from any water body like sea or ocean. Therefore, the moderating effect of the sea does not reach them. As a result, the summers are quite warm with a summer rain maxima and winters are quite cold. Such type of climate is known as continental. In Europe, Moscow is perhaps the best example of temperate continental climate. At Moscow, summers can be quite warm and the hottest month is usually above 70 F. This is quite high for its latitude of about 52 N. This is because of the fact that the Great Eurasian landmass, in which Moscow is located, gets quite warm in summer.
In winter quite the opposite hold true and the nighttime low can dip as low as 0 F. This is again due to the continental effect and the remoteness of the location from the sea. The precipitation is received mostly in the summer although Moscow gets moderate rainfall in almost every month of the year.
In the southern hemisphere, due to absence of any big land mass, the continental type is not manifested properly at any particular location.
The Maritime Climate
The best example is London. As opposed to Moscow, it neither gets so warm in summer nor so cold in winter; thanks to the nearness to the Atlantic Ocean and the moderating influence of the North Atlantic Drift. London get precipitation in every month but the winter precipitation is more pronounced than that of the summer one.
As for the temperatures, they are quite moderate for its latitude of 51 N. The mean of the hottest month is 60 F while even during the height of winter, it is rare for the temperatures to fall below 30 F.
In southern Hemisphere, Auckland, in New Zealand has a similar climate. Tasmania in Australia is also an example of maritime temperate climate. In both these areas the summers as well as the winters are mild due to the moderating influence of the ocean.
In short, the temperate climates have two broad categories, namely the continental and the maritime. The former has maximum precipitation is summer while the latter has more precipitation is winter.
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