Defining Climate


  • The study of Earths climate and the factors that cause past,present, and future climatic changes.
  • Studies of climate show extreme fluctuations of these variables over time.

Limitations of Normals

  • Data used to describe an areas climate are compiled from meteorological records.
  • data includes daily high and low temperatures, amount of rainfall, wind speed and direction, humidity, and air pressure


  • Area between 23.5 South and 23.5 North of the equator

Temp Zones

  • lie between 23.5 and 66.5 North and South of the equator

Polar Zones

  • located from 66.5 North and South of the equator to the poles

Topographic effects

  • Water heats up and cools down more slowly than land.
  • Many coastal regions are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than inland area at similar latitudes.

Air Masses

  • Two of the main causes of weather are the movement and interactions of air masses
  • Air masses commonly found over North America