Climates of the Western Hemisphere

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
This lesson explores the many different climates of the Western Hemisphere using the Koppen climate classification. You'll not only learn a bit about the climate types but also some examples of places where such a climate is found.

What Is The Western Hemisphere?

Our planet can be divided into many ways and one of them involves hemispheres. The Western Hemisphere involves everything that is west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian. The Prime Meridian is an imaginary line that passes through Greenwich, England, while the Antimeridian is an imaginary line that passes near the Bering Strait, which separates Russia from Alaska.

Let's go over some of the major climates found in this hemisphere using the Koppen climate classification.

Type A & B Climates

Brazil is home to a large rainforest called the Amazon and it also helps make up one of the largest climatic zones in the Western Hemisphere, that of the type A climatic zone. This climate type is characterized by high temperature even in the coolest months. Specifically, the temperature of the coolest month is at least 18 C (64 F). For simplicity's sake, you can equate type A climates as the more commonly known tropical climates, like the tropical rainforests of the world. Thus, type A climates aren't limited to Brazil in the Western Hemisphere, other countries like Venezuela and Colombia have this kind of climate as well.

The Western part of South America as well as North America is home to various type B climates. These are climates that, in general, have little precipitation, have low humidity, lots of sun, and thus a lot of clear skies. Again, you can largely think of them as the dry (arid and semiarid) climates of the world. Examples of famous places that would be in a type B climate are:

  • Death Valley, California
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Lima, Peru

The climate around Las Vegas is a type B climate.

Type C, D, & E Climates

Less commonly found than type A and B climates are the type C climates in the Western Hemisphere. A type C climate is one that, in part, has:

  • A temperature of at least 10 C (50 F) for the warmest month
  • A temperature of greater than -3 C (26 F) but less than 18 C (64 F) for the coldest month

Type C climates can be viewed as 'Mediterranean' in nature, like the ones found near San Francisco, California. They can also be humid but subtropical climates of the world, such as those found in many parts of Argentina, like Buenos Aires. They can also be marine or oceanic climates like those around Vancouver, British Columbia.

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