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Old 04-24-2014, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Vernon, British Columbia
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It seems to me that Köppen under represents the arid and semi-arid climates. Most other formulas like the Penman–Monteith equation classify central Washington State as arid (around Wenatchee @47.5N), but the Köppen formula only classifies Washington as semi-arid. Many places in Washington like Wenatchee are very close to being arid, but none of them are under the Köppen scheme.

The furthest north arid area is in Wyoming at about 44.9N.

When it comes to semi-arid areas, I think they still under represent the area. For example, Penticton, BC is semi-arid by all accounts, except by Köppen. Wikipedia calls it semi-arid, the government calls it semi-arid, and scientists call it semi arid.

The northernmost point in North America that is semi-arid is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (52N) according to Köppen, but one need only look at the vegetation in BC at 52N to see why it is classified as semi-arid by scientists despite what Köppen has to say.

Farwell Canyon, British Columbia - Bild & Foto von Werner Nienstedt aus The West - Fotografie (1329321) | fotocommunity
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glacierx View Post
It seems to me that Köppen under represents the arid and semi-arid climates. Most other formulas like the Penman–Monteith equation classify central Washington State as arid (around Wenatchee @47.5N), but the Köppen formula only classifies Washington as semi-arid. Many places in Washington like Wenatchee are very close to being arid, but none of them are under the Köppen scheme.

The furthest north arid area is in Wyoming at about 44.9N.

When it comes to semi-arid areas, I think they still under represent the area. For example, Penticton, BC is semi-arid by all accounts, except by Köppen. Wikipedia calls it semi-arid, the government calls it semi-arid, and scientists call it semi arid.

The northernmost point in North America that is semi-arid is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (52N) according to Köppen, but one need only look at the vegetation in BC at 52N to see why it is classified as semi-arid by scientists despite what Köppen has to say.

Farwell Canyon, British Columbia - Bild & Foto von Werner Nienstedt aus The West - Fotografie (1329321) | fotocommunity

I definitely agree as to semi-arid climates being prevalent far up into the interior of BC, but vegetation can be quite misleading. Take, for example, this area of Poland:

File:Blendowska Desert.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Vernon, British Columbia
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Most arid place in North America = Death Valley, CA with an aridity of 0.12. 2nd place is Yuma, AZ with an aridity of 0.13.

The wettest place that is arid is Rio Grande Village, TX with 324.4 mm (12.77 in) of precipitation.
The highest elevation arid place is Center, CO at 7673 ft elevation.

The wettest place that is semi-arid is Borger, TX with 580.4 mm (22.85 in) of precipitation.
The driest place that is semi-arid is Big Piney, WY with 164.6 mm (6.48 in) of precipitation.
The highest elevation semi-arid place is Antero, CO at 8920 ft elevation.

The driest place in North America that is not arid or semi-arid is Eureka, Nunavut at 79.1mm (3.11 in).
The driest place in the United States that is not arid or semi-arid is Kuparuk, AK at 96.5mm (3.80 in).
The driest place in the CONUS that is not arid or semi-arid is Topaz Lake, NV at 218.2mm (8.59 in).
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Saskatoon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glacierx View Post
The northernmost point in North America that is semi-arid is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (52N) according to Köppen, but one need only look at the vegetation in BC at 52N to see why it is classified as semi-arid by scientists despite what Köppen has to say.
Saskatoon actually just passes the threshold for continental rather than semi-arid (unless I did my math wrong). It is very much borderline, though.
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Vernon, British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morningrise View Post
Saskatoon actually just passes the threshold for continental rather than semi-arid (unless I did my math wrong). It is very much borderline, though.
Ya, the filter I ran used weather stations that has a few as 10 years of data. One Saskatoon station turned up, but I suspect this only occurred because the 10-15 year period coincided with a warm, dry spell. The Saskatoon stations with more data are too wet.

P.S. here is a picture of British Columbia at just shy of 52N. As you can see the lower elevations are too dry for tree growth, but even if they went 10 years without rain, their crops would not suffer because the mighty Fraser River is massive!

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