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the characteristic weather conditions in a place over a long period of time


the distance in degrees north or south of the equator

marine climate

occurs near the ocean, usually along the west coasts of continents. Temperatures do not drop very far at night. Summers and winters are mild. Marine climates recieve steady precipitation because winds blowing off the ocean bring moisture to the atmosphere.

continental climate

occurs in the interior of continents. Weather patterns vary in the different types of continental climates. Most have large differences between daytime and nighttime temperatures because they lack the influence of nearby oceans. Winter months are usually much colder than summer months.

ocean current

a stream of water that flows through an oceans in regular patterns


a period of the year.

climate zone

one of the major divisions in a system for classifying climates


the climate of a smaller area within a subclimate

urban heat island

the warmer body of air over a city

rain shadow

the dry area on the downwind side of a mountain

ice age

a period of time in which huge sheets of ice spread out beyond the polar regions

El Niño

when weak trade winds allow warm water to flow back toward the central and eastern Pacific. The clouds and heavy rain also shift eastward, toward South America.

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