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The humid continental climate is a climate found over large areas of landmasses in the temperate regions of the mid-latitudes where there is a zone of conflict between polarmarker and tropical air masses. The humid continental climate is marked by variable weather patterns and a large seasonal temperature variance. Summers are often warm and humid with frequent thunderstorms and winters can be very cold and snowy. The seasonal temperature variance is typically 25-35°C (45-63°F) and increases as one moves further inland and away from the moderating influence of the ocean. Places with at least four months of average daily temperatures above and at least one month below depending on source, and which do not meet the criteria for an arid climate, are classified as humid continental. (direct: Final Revised Paper) It is most prominent over a wide section of central and eastern North America, parts of Eastern Europe, northwestern Asia and areas adjacent to the Yellow Seamarker, the Korean Peninsula and Northern Japanmarker. It is only found in small pockets (micro climates) in the Southern Hemispheremarker and in Antarcticamarker.

Dfa/Dwa: Hot (or very warm) summer subtype

A hot (or very warm) version of a continental climate features an average temperature of at least in its warmest month. The warmest month is usually in July, though it some cases it can be in August. Average July afternoon temperatures in this zone generally average between while the average temperature of the coldest month is or colder. In some instances, the average temperature of the coldest month can be far below . Within North America it includes much of the easternmarker and midwestern portions of the United Statesmarker and part of southern Ontariomarker, Canadamarker from the Atlanticmarker to the 100th meridian and generally in the range of 39°N to 44°N latitude; precipitation increases the further eastward in this zone and is less seasonally uniform in the west; this area includes the following regions:

Some of the major North American cities in this zone:

The isotherm (freeze line) or the isotherms (persistent snow line) are the possible lines dividing the humid continental and the humid subtropical climates. The Koppen climate classification, the most popular climate classification, uses . In between these lines are the following places:

Some regions in this zone:

The western states of the central United Statesmarker (namely Montanamarker, Wyomingmarker, parts of southern Idahomarker, parts of Coloradomarker, western Nebraskamarker, and western areas of North and South Dakotamarker) have thermal regimes which fit the Dfa climate type, but are quite dry, and are generally grouped with the steppe (BSk) climates.

Outside of North America the Dfa climate type is present near the Black Seamarker in southern Ukrainemarker, the Southern Federal District of Russiamarker, Moldovamarker, and parts of eastern Romaniamarker, but tends to be drier, or even semi-arid, in these places. Tohokumarker in Japanmarker between Tokyomarker and Hokkaidōmarker 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 much lower snowfall with monsoonal type summer rainfall is to be found in north-eastern Chinamarker including coastal regions of the Yellow Seamarker and over much of the Korean Peninsula; it has the Köppen classification Dwa. Much of central Asia, northwestern Chinamarker, and southern Mongoliamarker 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).

It appears nowhere within the Southern Hemisphere, which has no large landmasses so situated in the middle latitudes that allow the combination of hot summers and at least one month of sub-freezing temperatures.

Cities outside North America with this climate include:

Dfb/Dwb: Warm summer subtype

The warm summer version of a continental climate (Köppen: Dfb) generally lies north of the hot summer subtype. In North America, this version generally exists from about 44°N to 50°N latitude typically east of the 100th meridian. However, this version can be found as far north as 54°N in the Canadian Prairie Provinces and below 40°N in the high Appalachiansmarker. Areas featuring this subtype of the continental climate has an average temperature in its warmest month below 22°C. Summer temperatures in this zone typically average between during the daytime and the average winter temperatures in the coldest month are generally far below the isotherm.

It includes the following places:

In Canada, it includes these areas:

Some of the major cities in this zone:

It is also found in central Scandinavia. East central Europe (east of Germany and Hungary) is a warm summer subtype with less severe winters, more simaliar to the winters of the hot summer subtype found in eastern North America- the winters here are modified by the oceanic climate influence of western Europe.

The warm 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 Japanmarker has a similar climate.

Much of Mongoliamarker and parts of southern Siberiamarker have a thermal regime fitting this climate, but they have steppe- or desert-like precipitation, and so are not really considered to have a humid continental climate.

Countries with this climate:

In the Southern Hemisphere it exists only in the Southern Alpsmarker of New Zealandmarker and perhaps as isolated microclimates of the southern Andes of Chile and Argentina.

Cities with such climates outside North America include:

Subarctic climate

Near 50°N in North America (except north of 55°N in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan) and eastern Asia (60°N or further north in Europe), the climate grades into a subarctic climate (Köppen: Dfc, Dwc), poleward of which the summers (seasons with temperatures above 10°C) are shorter than four months.

This climate appears nowhere in the Southern Hemisphere because of the complete absence of inland areas isolated from oceanic waters between 45° and 55° south latitude.


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