Köppen Climate Classification System
The Köppen Climate Classification System is the most widely used for classifying the world's climates. Most classification systems used today are based on the one introduced in 1900 by the Russian-German climatologist Wladimir Köppen. Köppen divided the Earth's surface into climatic regions that generally coincided with world patterns of vegetation and soils.
The Köppen Climate Classification System
- A - Moist Tropical Climates are known for their high temperatures year round and for their large amount of year round rain.
- B - Dry Climates are characterized by little rain and a huge daily temperature range. Two subgroups:
- C - Humid Middle Latitude Climates have warm,dry summers and cool, wet winters.
- D - Continental Climates can be found in the interior regions of large land masses. Total precipitation is not very high and seasonal temperatures vary widely.
- E - Cold Climates are part of areas where permanent ice and tundra are always present.
- H - Alpine climates
Further subgroups are designated by a second, lower case letter which distinguish specific seasonal characteristics of temperature and precipitation.
- f - Moist with adequate precipitation in all months and no dry season. This letter usually accompanies the A, C, and D climates.
- m - Rainforest climate in spite of short, dry season in monsoon type cycle. This letter only applies to A climates.
- s - There is a dry season in the summer of the respective hemisphere (high-sun season).
- w - There is a dry season in the winter of the respective hemisphere (low-sun season).
To further denote variations in climate, a third letter was added to the code.
- a - Hot summers. These can be found in C and D climates.
- b - Warm summer. These can also be found in C and D climates.
- c - Cool, short summers in the C and D climates.
- d - Very cold winters in the D climate only.
- h - Dry-hot in B climates only.
- k - Dry-cold in B climates only.
Three basic climate groups
Three major climate groups show the dominance of special combinations of air-mass source regions.
Tropical Moist Climates (Af): Rainforest
Wet-Dry Tropical Climates (Aw): Savanna
Dry Tropical Climate (BW): Desert biome
- Southwestern United States and northern Mexico
- Northern Africa
- Southern Africa
- Central Australia.
Dry Midlatitude Climates (BS): Steppe
- Western North America (Great Basin, Columbia Plateau, Great Plains)
- Eurasian interior, from steppes of Eastern Europe to the Gobi Desert and North China
Mediterranean Climate (Cs): Chaparral biome
- Central and southern California
- Coastal zones bordering the Mediterranean Sea
- Coastal Western Australia and South Australia
- Chilean coast
- Cape Town region of South Africa
Dry Midlatitude Climates (Bs): Grasslands biome
Moist Continental Climate (Cf): Deciduous Forest biome
- Eastern parts of the United States and southern Canada
- Northern China
- Central and eastern Europe
Boreal forest Climate ( Dfc): Taiga biome
- Central and western Alaska
- Canada, from the Yukon Territory to Labrador
- Eurasia, from northern Europe across all of Siberia to the Pacific Ocean
Tundra Climate (E): Tundra biome
- Arctic zone of North America
- Hudson Bay region
- Greenland coast
- Northern Siberia bordering the Arctic Ocean