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Old 07-18-2010, 09:43 AM
 
Location: USA East Coast
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We had discussion last night that I thought was quite interesting. It appears that the USA is the country that has the largest number of different climate zones of any one nation. The USA has the following climate zones:

Dcb – (Temperate Continental) …very cold winters/cool summers – Northern Interior/Great Lakes/New England.

Do – (Temperate Oceanic)… moderate winters/cool summers – Pacific Northwest.

Dca – (Temperate Continental (Hot summer)…cold winters/Hot summers – Central USA/Middle East Coast.

Bsk – (Steppe/Semiarid) (cool)….cold winters/warm summers – Interior Western States.

BW – (Hot Desert)…mild winters/very hot summers - AZ/eastern CA.

Cs – Subtropical (Mediterranean)…mild winters/cool summers – Southern California.

Cf – Subtropical Humid…mild winters/hot summers – Gulf/South Atlantic States.

Aw – Tropical Savanna (monsoon)….warm winters/hot summers – South Florida.

Is there any other nation that has as many climate zones as the USA?.

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Old 07-18-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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America is such a diverse country when it comes to climate. We have just about every climate possible. That's the good thing about America...no matter what your weather preferences are, you can find a climate that you like.
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
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It's hard to think of a climate the US doesn't have: maybe tropical rainforest and dry winter subtropical (Cw); though Florida has a less extreme version of it.
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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You forgot E and F (Alaska) and Hawaii.
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Cloudchurch, Subantarctica
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If you include AK, HI and unincorporated territories such as American Samoa, I've think you'd have covered every climate zone possible.

The continental US has great climactic diversity. I suppose this is a consequence of having a wide latitudinal span (25 - 50 N or thereabouts), huge land mass, large mountainous areas, cold ocean currents along the west coast, warm ocean currents along the east coast, cold air masses to the north and hot air masses to the south.

Spare a thought for those of us living in climactically homogenous countries. There's only one kind of climate here -- oceanic, the most boring climate type in existence!
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:36 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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The US lacks a true equatorial climate (comes close with Hawaii) and a tropical savanna type climate with totally dry winters (a Darwin or a Bangkok).
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Wellington and North of South
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The "Big Island" (Hawaii) is reputed to have 13 climate zones in at least one classification system.
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
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Climatically, Canada is one of the more diverse countries climatically, but in my opinion, we have all the bad climates... no hot deserts, no subtropical and no tropical climates here...
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:20 AM
 
Location: USA East Coast
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Trimac20:

Actually, Hawaii is not nearly the most tropical/equatorial state…Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and American Somoa are. Both are located well south of the Hawaiian islands. Most of the Hawaiian Islands are not really all that much different than cities like Miami, Key West, etc throughout the year...only the three winter months have mean temps about 3 F warmer or so.

Your right. Although cities like Miami are classified as tropical savanna (Aw), but they don’t have totally rainless season like Darwin or other lower latitude Aw regions. However, just to be fair to South Florida…. I can tell you that winter is often very dry in the southern half of the peninsula. Even though Dec/Jan/Feb don’t average totally dry…many times the winter months have less than half the normal rainfall…and drought/fires are annual in occurrence in late winter in parts of the Everglades. You can even see it in the vegetation – from May to October the palms and other plants look lush, in February they often look dry and wilted.

From what I can tell, in the Koppen climate classification system to be classified as Aw….a tropical location must have at least one month with less than 2.4 inches of rainfall (6 cm) and the dry season must be dry enough to distinctly affect vegetation. In both cases cities like Miami, Palm Beach, Key West, Naples…etc meets those criteria. I think Koppen was really trying to find a way to show that rainfall was seasonal in Aw. As for south Florida, while not Aw in the purest sense…there is still a very noticeable dry season, in terms of sense able weather and the numbers. The two wettest months have more than 4 times the rainfall of the two driest months.

Miami Area
Monthly Totals/Averages
Precipitation (inches)
Years: 1971-2000

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1.88 2.07 2.56 3.36 5.52 8.54 5.79 8.63 8.38 6.19 3.43 2.18

Also, you might be interested in this (I don’t know if you saw this, I posted it a few months back): The dry season is so severe in parts of subtropical Florida (the central/northern part of the state)…that climatologists are debating to reclassifies parts of North Florida from Humid subtropical (Cf) to Subtropical Monsoon/Wet/Dry (Cw). Every year the fires in North Florida just before the rains seem to be getting worse. Anyway, you might find it interesting:

NWS Melbourne Wet-Dry Season
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:35 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,691 posts, read 19,680,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wavehunter007 View Post
Trimac20:

Actually, Hawaii is not nearly the most tropical/equatorial state…Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and American Somoa are. Both are located well south of the Hawaiian islands. Most of the Hawaiian Islands are not really all that much different than cities like Miami, Key West, etc throughout the year...only the three winter months have mean temps about 3 F warmer or so.

Your right. Although cities like Miami are classified as tropical savanna (Aw), but they don’t have totally rainless season like Darwin or other lower latitude Aw regions. However, just to be fair to South Florida…. I can tell you that winter is often very dry in the southern half of the peninsula. Even though Dec/Jan/Feb don’t average totally dry…many times the winter months have less than half the normal rainfall…and drought/fires are annual in occurrence in late winter in parts of the Everglades. You can even see it in the vegetation – from May to October the palms and other plants look lush, in February they often look dry and wilted.

From what I can tell, in the Koppen climate classification system to be classified as Aw….a tropical location must have at least one month with less than 2.4 inches of rainfall (6 cm) and the dry season must be dry enough to distinctly affect vegetation. In both cases cities like Miami, Palm Beach, Key West, Naples…etc meets those criteria. I think Koppen was really trying to find a way to show that rainfall was seasonal in Aw. As for south Florida, while not Aw in the purest sense…there is still a very noticeable dry season, in terms of sense able weather and the numbers. The two wettest months have more than 4 times the rainfall of the two driest months.

Miami Area
Monthly Totals/Averages
Precipitation (inches)
Years: 1971-2000

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1.88 2.07 2.56 3.36 5.52 8.54 5.79 8.63 8.38 6.19 3.43 2.18

Also, you might be interested in this (I don’t know if you saw this, I posted it a few months back): The dry season is so severe in parts of subtropical Florida (the central/northern part of the state)…that climatologists are debating to reclassifies parts of North Florida from Humid subtropical (Cf) to Subtropical Monsoon/Wet/Dry (Cw). Every year the fires in North Florida just before the rains seem to be getting worse. Anyway, you might find it interesting:

NWS Melbourne Wet-Dry Season
I don't think PR, the Virgin Islands or American Samoa should count. More places in the US proper. Hawaii is just below the Tropic of Cancer, yet it's oceanity means it never really gets cold there. I believe the record lowest minimum for Honolulu is only 50F (10C).

Florida is interesting. I think southern Florida is a true Aw climate with two major seasons. It'd be interesting if someone did a study comparing the monsoon in the Gulf to that of Southeast Asia or India at a comparable latitude. Climates like Central or Northern China have like a tropical moonsoonal rainfall pattern with temperate zone temperatures.
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