Global Climate - Moist Continental

General Characteristics - warm to cool summers and cold winters. Winters are severe with snow storms, blustery winds, bitter cold - climate is controlled by large continent

  • controlled by large land masses - found only in northern hemisphere
  • found between about 40-70 latitude
  • warm-cool summers, cold winters
  • average temperature of coldest month must dip below -3C (27F)) - Koppen found that this temperature value marks the southern extent of persistent snow cover during the winter

Extent - north of moist subtropical mid-latitude climates

Major types: -

  • humid continental with hot (Dfa) summers or cool summers (Dfb)
    • observed between 40-60 latitude
    • evenly distributed precip during the year - 20-40 inches per year
    • Dfa - hot, humid summers - summertime temps in the 90's - warm, humid evenings
    • Dfa - growing season is about 5-6 months
    • example for Des Moines, IA
    • Dfb - cooler, located north of Dfa region
    • growing season is about 3-5 months
    • slightly larger temperature range than Dfa
    • example for Winnipeg, Canada

Climate Map - West

Climate Map - East

Major types, cont: -

  • sub polar (Dfc)
    • much of Canada, Alaska, Norway, Siberia
    • source regions of cP, cA air masses
    • severe winters, short, cool summers
    • 1-3 months with mean temperature exceeding 10C (50F)
    • small amounts of precip, though evaporation rate is also low
    • hence, there is adequate moisture to support the boreal forests of conifers and birches
    • example for Fairbanks, Alaska