Humid continental climate

A humid continental climate (Köppen prefix D and a third letter of a or b) is a climatic region defined by Russo-German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1900,[1] typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold in the northern areas) winters. Precipitation is usually distributed throughout the year. The definition of this climate regarding temperature is as follows: the mean temperature of the coldest month must be below −3 °C (26.6 °F) [2](or 0 °C (32.0 °F)[3]) and there must be at least four months whose mean temperatures are at or above 10 °C (50 °F). In addition, the location in question must not be semi-arid or arid. The Dfb, Dwb and Dsb subtypes are also known as hemiboreal.

Humid continental climates are generally found roughly between latitudes 40° N and 60° N,[4] within the central and northeastern portions of North America, Europe, and Asia. They are much less commonly found in the Southern Hemisphere due to the larger ocean area at that latitude and the consequent greater maritime moderation. In the Northern Hemisphere some of the humid continental climates, typically in Scandinavia, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland are heavily maritime-influenced, with relatively cool summers and winters being just below the freezing mark.[5] More extreme humid continental climates found in northeast China, southern Siberia, the Canadian Prairies, and the Great Lakes region of the American Midwest and Central Canada combine hotter summer maxima and colder winters than the marine-based variety.[6]

Koppen World Map Dfa Dwa Dsa Dfb Dwb Dsb
Humid continental climate worldwide, utilizing the Köppen climate classification
  Dsa
  Dsb
  Dwa
  Dwb
  Dfa
  Dfb

Definition

Odori Park Sapporo Snow Festival 2007
The snowy city of Sapporo, Japan, has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa).

Using the Köppen climate classification, a climate is classified as humid continental when the temperature of the coldest month is below −3 °C [26.6 °F] (or 0 °C [32.0 °F]) and there must be at least four months whose mean temperatures are at or above 10 °C (50 °F).[3]These temperatures were not arbitrary. In Europe, the −3 °C average temperature isotherm (line of equal temperature) was near the southern extent of winter snowpack. The 10 °C average temperature was found to be the minimum temperature necessary for tree growth.[7] Wide temperature ranges are common within this climate zone.[8]

Second letter in the classification symbol defines seasonal rainfall as follows: [3]

  • s: A dry summer—the driest summer month has less than 40 millimetres (1.57 in) of rainfall and has less than ​13 the precipitation of the wettest winter month,
  • w: A dry winter—the driest winter month has less than one‑tenth of the precipitation found in the wettest summer month,
  • f: Without dry season—does not meet either of the alternative specifications.

while the third letter denotes the extent of summer heat:[3]

  • a: Hot summer, warmest month averages at least 22 °C (71.6 °F),
  • b: Warm summer, warmest month averages below 22 °C (71.6 °F) and at least four months averages above 10 °C (50.0 °F).

Associated precipitation

Within North America, moisture within this climate regime is supplied by the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent western subtropical Atlantic.[9] Precipitation is relatively well distributed year-round in many areas with this climate (f), while others may see a marked reduction in wintry precipitation,[7] which increases the chances of a wintertime drought (w).[10] Snowfall occurs in all areas with a humid continental climate and in many such places is more common than rain during the height of winter. In places with sufficient wintertime precipitation, the snow cover is often deep. Most summer rainfall occurs during thunderstorms,[7] and in North America and Asia an occasionally tropical system. Though humidity levels are often high in locations with humid continental climates, the "humid" designation means that the climate is not dry enough to be classified as semi-arid or arid.

Vegetation

Vermont fall foliage hogback mountain
Mixed forest in Vermont during autumn

By definition, forests thrive within this climate. Biomes within this climate regime include temperate woodlands, temperate grasslands, temperate deciduous, temperate evergreen forests,[9] and coniferous forests.[11] Within wetter areas, maple, spruce, pine, fir, and oak can be found. Fall foliage is noted during the autumn.[7]

Hot summer subtype

Koppen World Map Dfa Dwa Dsa
Regions with hot-summer humid continental climates
Chicago, United States
Climate chart (explanation)
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: NOAA[12]
Shenyang, China
Climate chart (explanation)
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: China Meteorological Administration [13]

A hot summer version of a continental climate features an average temperature of at least 22 °C (71.6 °F) in its warmest month.[14] Since these regimes are limited to the Northern Hemisphere, the warmest month is usually July or August. For example, Chicago has average July afternoon temperatures near 29 °C (84 °F), while average January afternoon temperature are near −1 °C (30.2 °F). Frost free periods normally last 4–6 months within this climate regime.[7]

Within North America, this climate includes small areas of central and southeast Canada (including the City of Toronto, which is otherwise surrounded by the warm-summer type), and portions of the central and eastern United States from the 100th meridian eastward to the Atlantic. Precipitation increases further eastward in this zone and is less seasonally uniform in the west. The western states of the central United States (namely Montana, Wyoming, parts of southern Idaho, most of Lincoln County in Eastern Washington, parts of Colorado, parts of Utah, western Nebraska, and parts of western North and South Dakota) have thermal regimes which fit the Dfa climate type, but are quite dry, and are generally grouped with the steppe (BSk) climates.

In the Eastern Hemisphere, this climate regime is found within interior Eurasia, east-central Asia, and parts of India. Within Europe, the Dfa climate type is present near the Black Sea in southern Ukraine, the Southern Federal District of Russia, southern Moldova, Serbia, parts of southern Romania, and Bulgaria,[15][16] but tends to be drier and can be even semi-arid in these places. In East Asia, this climate exhibits a monsoonal tendency with much higher precipitation in summer than in winter, and due the effects of the strong Siberian High much colder winter temperatures than similar latitudes around the world, however with lower snowfall, the exception being western Japan with its heavy snowfall. Tōhoku, between Tokyo and Hokkaidō and Western coast of Japan also has a climate with Köppen classification Dfa, but is wetter even than that part of North America with this climate type. A variant which has dry winters and hence relatively lower snowfall with monsoonal type summer rainfall is to be found in northern China including Manchuria and parts of North China, and over much of the Korean Peninsula; it has the Köppen classification Dwa. Much of central Asia, northwestern China, and southern Mongolia have a thermal regime similar to that of the Dfa climate type, but these regions receive so little precipitation that they are more often classified as steppes (BSk) or deserts (BWk).

This climate zone does not exist at all in the southern hemisphere, where the only landmass that enters the upper-middle latitudes, South America, tapers too much to have any place that gets the combination of snowy winters and hot summers. Marine influences preclude Dfa, Dwa, and Dsa climates in the southern hemisphere.

Warm summer subtype

Koppen World Map Dfb Dwb Dsb
Regions with warm-summer humid continental climates
Moscow, Russian Federation
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
52
 
 
−4
−9
 
 
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−4
−10
 
 
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: pogoda.ru.net
Halifax, Canada
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
139
 
 
0
−8
 
 
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3
−4
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Environment Canada[17]

Areas featuring this subtype of the continental climate have an average temperature in the warmest month below 22 °C. Summer high temperatures in this zone typically average between 21–28 °C (70–82 °F) during the daytime and the average temperatures in the coldest month are generally far below the −3 °C (27 °F) (or 0 °C (32.0 °F)) isotherm. Frost-free periods typically last 3–5 months. Heat spells lasting over a week are rare. Winters are brisk and cold.[7]

The warm summer version of the humid continental climate covers a much larger area than the hot subtype. In North America, the climate zone covers from about 45°N to 50°N latitude mostly east of the 100th meridian, including most of Southern Ontario, The Maritimes and the island of Newfoundland. However, it can be found as far north as 54°N, and further west in the Canadian Prairie Provinces and below 40°N in the high Appalachians. In Europe this subtype reaches its most northerly latitude at nearly 61° N.

High-altitude locations as South Lake Tahoe, California, and Aspen, Colorado, in the western United States exhibit local Dfb climates. The south-central and southwestern Prairie Provinces also fits the Dfb criteria from a thermal profile, but because of semi-arid precipitation portions of it are grouped into the BSk category. Much of New England and small parts of the Mid-Atlantic also fall into this subtype.

In Europe, it is found in much of Eastern Europe and southernmost of Scandinavia not bathed by the Atlantic Ocean or North Sea: Ukraine (the whole country except the Black Sea coast), Belarus, Poland (one third of the east), Russia, Sweden (historical region of Svealand), Finland (south end,including the three largest cities),[16] Norway (most populated area),[18] Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Romania (generally above 100 m) and Hungary (generally above 100 m).[15] It has little warming or precipitation effects from the northern Atlantic.[16] The cool summer subtype is marked by mild summers, long cold winters and less precipitation than the hot summer subtype; however, short periods of extreme heat are not uncommon. Northern Japan has a similar climate.

In the Southern Hemisphere it exists in well-defined areas only in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, in the Snowy Mountains of Australia in Kiandra, New South Wales (only dashes)[19] and the Andes Mountains of Argentina and Chile.[20]

Use in climate modeling

Since climate regimes tend to be dominated by vegetation of one region with relatively homogenous ecology, those that project climate change remap their results in the form of climate regimes as an alternative way to explain expected changes.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Michal Belda; Eva Holtanová; Tomáš Halenka; Jaroslava Kalvová (2014-02-04). "Climate classification revisited: from Köppen to Trewartha" (PDF). Climate Research. 59 (1): 1–14. Bibcode:2014ClRes..59....1B. doi:10.3354/cr01204.
  2. ^ Kottek, Markus; Grieser, Jürgen; Beck, Christoph; Rudolf, Bruno; Rubel, Franz (2006). "World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated". Meteorologische Zeitschrift. 15 (3): 259–263. Bibcode:2006MetZe..15..259K. doi:10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130.
  3. ^ a b c d Peel, M. C.; Finlayson B. L. & McMahon, T. A. (2007). "Updated world map of the Köppen−Geiger climate classification" (PDF). Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 11 (5): 1633–1644. doi:10.5194/hess-11-1633-2007. ISSN 1027-5606.
  4. ^ Béla Berényi. Cultivated Plants, Primarily As Food Sources -- Vol II -- Fruit in Northern Latitudes (PDF). Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. p. 1. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  5. ^ "Halifax, Nova Scotia Temperature Averages". Weatherbase. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Milwaukee, Wisconsin Temperature Averages". Weatherbase. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f C. Donald Ahrens; Robert Henson (2015). Meteorology Today (11 ed.). Cengage Learning. pp. 491–492. ISBN 978-1305480629.
  8. ^ Steven Ackerman; John Knox (2006). Meteorology: Understanding the Atmosphere. Cengage Learning. p. 419. ISBN 978-1-305-14730-0.
  9. ^ a b Andy D. Ward; Stanley W. Trimble (2003). Environmental Hydrology, Second Edition. CRC Press. pp. 30–34. ISBN 978-1-56670-616-2.
  10. ^ Vijendra K. Boken; Arthur P. Cracknell; Ronald L. Heathcote (2005). Monitoring and Predicting Agricultural Drought : A Global Study: A Global Study. Oxford University Press. p. 349. ISBN 978-0-19-803678-4.
  11. ^ Timothy Champion; Clive Gamble; Stephen Shennan; Alisdair Whittle (2009). Prehistoric Europe. Left Coast Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-59874-463-7.
  12. ^ National Climatic Data Center. "Illinois Normals" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  13. ^ 中国地面国际交换站气候标准值月值数据集(1971-2000年) (in Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
  14. ^ Gordon B. Bonan (2008). "6. Earth's Climate". Ecological Climatology: Concepts and Applications. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-26886-9.
  15. ^ a b Joseph Hobbs (2012). Fundamentals of World Regional Geography. Cengage Learning. p. 76. ISBN 978-1-285-40221-5.
  16. ^ a b c Michael Kramme (2012). Exploring Europe, Grades 5 - 8. Carson-Dellosa Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-58037-670-9.
  17. ^ "Halifax Stanfield INT'L A, Nova Scotia". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  18. ^ Peel, M. C. and Finlayson, B. L. and McMahon, T. A. (2007). "Updated world map of the Köppen–Geiger climate classification". Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 11 (5): 1633–1644. doi:10.5194/hess-11-1633-2007. ISSN 1027-5606.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) (direkt: Final Revised Paper; PDF; 1,7 MB)
  19. ^ "(PDF) Changes in Köppen-Geiger climate types under a future climate for Australia: Hydrological implications". ResearchGate. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  20. ^ "Updated Köppen-Geiger climate map of the world". people.eng.unimelb.edu.au. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
Betula lenta

Betula lenta (sweet birch, also known as black birch, cherry birch, mahogany birch, or spice birch) is a species of birch native to eastern North America, from southern Maine west to southernmost Ontario, and south in the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia.

Betula nigra

Betula nigra, the black birch, river birch or water birch, is a species of birch native to the Eastern United States from New Hampshire west to southern Minnesota, and south to northern Florida and west to Texas. It is one of the few heat-tolerant birches in a family of mostly cold-weather trees which do not thrive in USDA Zone 6 and up. B. nigra commonly occurs in floodplains and swamps.

Betula papyrifera

Betula papyrifera (paper birch, also known as white birch and canoe birch) is a short-lived species of birch native to northern North America. Paper birch is named due to the thin white bark which often peels in paper like layers from the trunk. Paper birch is often one of the first species to colonize a burned area within the northern latitudes and an important species for moose browse. The wood is often used for pulpwood and firewood.

Betula populifolia

Betula populifolia (gray or grey birch) is a deciduous tree native to eastern North America.

Carpinus caroliniana

Carpinus caroliniana, the American hornbeam, is a small hardwood tree in the genus Carpinus. American hornbeam is also known as blue-beech, and musclewood. It is native to eastern North America, from Minnesota and southern Ontario east to Maine, and south to eastern Texas and northern Florida. It also grows in Canada (southwest Quebec and southeast Ontario).

Cercis canadensis

Cercis canadensis, the eastern redbud, is a large deciduous shrub or small tree, native to eastern North America from southern Ontario, south to northern Florida but which can thrive as far west as California. It is the state tree of Oklahoma.

Climate categories in viticulture

In viticulture, the climates of wine regions are categorised based on the overall characteristics of the area's climate during the growing season. While variations in macroclimate are acknowledged, the climates of most wine regions are categorised (somewhat loosely based on the Köppen climate classification) as being part of a Mediterranean (for example Tuscany), maritime (ex: Bordeaux) or continental climate (ex: Columbia Valley). The majority of the world's premium wine production takes place in one of these three climate categories in locations between the 30th parallel and 50th parallel in both the northern and southern hemisphere. While viticulture does exist in some tropical climates, most notably Brazil, the amount of quality wine production in those areas is so small that the climate effect has not been as extensively studied as other categories.

Euonymus europaeus

Euonymus europaeus, the spindle, European spindle, or common spindle, is a species of flowering plant in the family Celastraceae, native to much of Europe, where it inhabits the edges of forest, hedges and gentle slopes, tending to thrive on nutrient-rich, chalky and salt-poor soils. It is a deciduous shrub or small tree. Other names include fusoria, fusanum, ananbeam, shemshad rasmi (Iran), while it may have given its name to the ancient Greek settlement of Euonymeia.

Ilex opaca

Ilex opaca, the American holly, is a species of holly, native to the eastern and south-central United States, from coastal Massachusetts south to central Florida, and west to southeastern Missouri and eastern Texas.

Larix decidua

Larix decidua, the European larch, is a species of larch native to the mountains of central Europe, in the Alps and Carpathian Mountains as well as the Pyrenees, with disjunct lowland populations in northern Poland and southern Lithuania. Its life span has been confirmed to be close to 1000 years (with claims of up to 2000 years) but is more often around 200 years. It is claimed that one of the larches planted by the second Duke of Atholl at Dunkeld in 1738 is still standing.

Pinus resinosa

Pinus resinosa, known as red pine or Norway pine, is a pine native to North America. It occurs from Newfoundland west to Manitoba, and south to Pennsylvania, with several smaller, disjunct populations occurring in the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and West Virginia, as well as a few small pockets in extreme northern New Jersey and northern Illinois.The red pine is the state tree of Minnesota.

Pinus rigida

Pinus rigida, the pitch pine, is a small-to-medium-sized (6–30 m or 20–98 ft) pine. It is native to eastern North America, from central Maine south to Georgia and as far west as Kentucky, and in two pockets along the St. Lawrence River in southern Quebec and Ontario. It is found in environments which other species would find unsuitable for growth such as acidic, sandy, and low nutrient soils. This species occasionally hybridizes with other pine species such as loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata), and pond pine (Pinus serotina); the last is treated as a subspecies of pitch pine by some botanists.

Populus deltoides

Populus deltoides, the eastern cottonwood or necklace poplar, is a cottonwood poplar native to North America, growing throughout the eastern, central, and southwestern United States, the southernmost part of eastern Canada, and northeastern Mexico.

Populus tremula

Populus tremula, commonly called aspen, common aspen, Eurasian aspen, European aspen, or quaking aspen, is a species of poplar native to cool temperate regions of Europe and Asia, from Iceland and the British Isles east to Kamchatka, north to inside the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia and northern Russia, and south to central Spain, Turkey, the Tian Shan, North Korea, and northern Japan. It also occurs at one site in northwest Africa in Algeria. In the south of its range, it occurs at high altitudes in mountains.The English name Waverly, meaning "quaking aspen", is both a surname and unisex given name.

Prunus padus

Not to be confused with Prunus avium, whose scientific name means "plum of the birds".

Prunus padus, known as bird cherry, hackberry, hagberry, or Mayday tree, is a flowering plant in the rose family Rosaceae. It is a species of cherry, a deciduous small tree or large shrub up to 16 m tall. It is the type species of the subgenus Padus, which have flowers in racemes. It is native to northern Europe and northern Asia

Quercus bicolor

Quercus bicolor, the swamp white oak, is a North American species of medium-sized trees in the beech family. It is a common element of America's north central and northeastern mixed forests. It can survive in a variety of habitats. It forms hybrids with bur oak where they occur together in the wild.

Quercus shumardii

Quercus shumardii, the Shumard oak, spotted oak, Schneck oak, Shumard red oak, or swamp red oak, is one of the largest of the oak species in the red oak group (Quercus section Lobatae). It is closely related to Texas red oak (Quercus buckleyi), Nuttall's oak (Quercus texana), and Chisos red oak (Quercus gravesii).

Salix nigra

Salix nigra, the black willow, is a species of willow native to eastern North America, from New Brunswick and southern Ontario west to Minnesota, and south to northern Florida and Texas.

Thuja occidentalis

Thuja occidentalis, also known as northern white-cedar or eastern arborvitae, is an evergreen coniferous tree, in the cypress family Cupressaceae, which is native to eastern Canada and much of the north, central and upper Northeastern United States, but widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. The species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753, and the binomial name remains current.

Imperial conversion
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2
 
 
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1.8
 
 
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85
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63
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36
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
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Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
0.3
 
 
23
2
 
 
0.3
 
 
31
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1.6
 
 
62
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74
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
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Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
2
 
 
25
16
 
 
1.6
 
 
25
14
 
 
1.4
 
 
37
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1.5
 
 
52
36
 
 
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65
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72
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3.3
 
 
76
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71
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60
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34
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27
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Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
5.5
 
 
32
17
 
 
4.3
 
 
33
19
 
 
5.2
 
 
38
25
 
 
4.6
 
 
48
34
 
 
4.7
 
 
58
42
 
 
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67
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74
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74
59
 
 
4.3
 
 
67
53
 
 
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56
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47
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5.7
 
 
37
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Precipitation totals in inches
Class A
Class B
Class C
Class D
Class E

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