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This is a day-to-day condition that can change instantly. It is not to be confused with "climate".


This is the pattern of weather that an area experiences on a year-to-year basis. It is the sum total of all the weather an area experiences during an extended period of time.


These are the people who study climate.


This is what the study of the climate is called.


This is influenced by the location of the area on earth or its latitude, by the proximity of ocean currents, and by the altitude of the area.


This is the distance that can be measured on a world globe. It measures distance north and south of the equator. It is measured in degrees.


This is a measure of a location's distance above sea level. The higher above sea level, the colder the temperature.

prevailing winds

These winds tend to blow from one direction with a greater frequency than from other directions.

mountain ranges

These are natural barriers that can block the prevailing winds.

ice cap

This climate is alwlalys cold, and the temperature seldom rises above freezing. Precipitation always falls as snow.

polar region

This climate region is always cold with a long winter and a short cold summer. Very little precipitation falls here, regardless of the season.

subarctic climate

In this climate region, summers are cool and short, and winters are cold and long. Most of what little precipitation that falls comes during the summer months.

the tundra

This area is flat with little vegetation. The ground is constantly frozen beneath the surface, regardless of the season.

the taiga

This is a very cold subarctic area that is swampy and filled with coniferous trees.

Mediterranean climate

This climate is typical of southern California. Winters bring heavy precipitation, and almost no precipitation falls during summer months.

marine climate

This is typical of the northwest coast of the United States. Temperatures are cool to warm in the summer, and only slightly cooler in the winter. This climate is characterized by moderate precipitation due to the moist air. This type of climate produces thick forests of needle-leafed trees.

continental climates

These climates are characterized by being moist or humid. They can be found in the northern United States. Polar air masses cause extremely cold winters with much precipitation or humidity.

humid subtropical climates

These can be found in the southeastern United States. High temperatures and precipitation characterize the long summer months. Winters are short and fairly mild, and only occasionally does the temperature drop below freezing.

steppe climate

This is a climate similar to that found in the Great Plains of the United States. Very little precipitation falls, and temperatures are hot in the summers and cold in the winters. Even daily temperatures can experience wide variations.

desert climates

These receive very little precipitation and are usually hot and dry during the day, although temperatures drop drastically at night. These receive so little precipitation because of their interion location far from oceans and because mountains block the moist air.

tropical rainforests

This climate can be found along the Amazon and Congorivers. Here the air is constantly hot and humid. Vegetation is thick and grows very quickly.


This type of climate is very difficuly to characterize. It is dependent on the altitude at which it is located. The elevation and the presence or absence of prevailing winds will affect this climate.


These are grasslands that lie between deserts and rainforests. Temperatures are always hot here with precipitation that varies between the seasons. This makes alternate wet and dry seasons.

El Nino (dl NEEN yoh)

This is an event that causes temporary climatic warming in a region. It can be expected every two to seven years and can bring drought to one region and heavy rains with flooding to another region. It is a current of warm water that warms the air through conduction and results in the formation of global winds.


(true or false) The leeward side of a mountain is dry and receives little moisture.


(true or false) Transpiratioin, temperature, precipitation, and el nino are all affected by mountain ranges and prevailing winds.


(true or false) Wind moving up a mountain peak carries more moisture than wind moving down the opposite side of the peak.


(true or false) The leeward side of a mountain receives high winds and heavy moisture.


This is the effect on temperature when altitude increases.

90 degrees

This is the latitude of the north and south poles.

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