Tropical climate

Tropical climate

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A tropical climate is a climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

 of the tropics
Tropics
The tropics is a region of the Earth surrounding the Equator. It is limited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere at approximately  N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere at  S; these latitudes correspond to the axial tilt of the Earth...

. In the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 it is a non-arid
Arid
A region is said to be arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or even preventing the growth and development of plant and animal life...

 climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures above 18 °C (64.4 °F). Unlike the extra-tropics, where there are strong variations in day length and temperature, with season, tropical temperature remains relatively constant throughout the year and seasonal variations are dominated by precipitation.

Subtypes



Within the tropical climate zone there are distinct variations based on precipitation:
  • Tropical rainforest
    Tropical rainforest climate
    A tropical rainforest climate, also known as an equatorial climate, is a tropical climate usually found along the equator...

     climate
    (Af): All twelve months have average precipitation of at least 60 mm (2.4 in). These climates usually occur within 5–10° latitude of the equator. In some eastern-coast areas, they may extend to as much as 25° away from the equator. This climate is dominated by the Doldrums
    Doldrums
    The doldrums is a colloquial expression derived from historical maritime usage for those parts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean affected by the Intertropical Convergence Zone, a low-pressure area around the equator where the prevailing winds are calm...

     Low Pressure System all year round, and therefore has no natural seasons.


  • Tropical monsoon
    Tropical monsoon climate
    Tropical monsoon climate, occasionally also known as a tropical wet climate or tropical monsoon and trade-wind littoral climate in climate classification, is a relatively rare type of climate that corresponds to the Köppen climate classification category "Am."Tropical monsoon climates have monthly...

     climate
    (Am): This type of climate, most common in South
    South America
    South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

     and Central America
    Central America
    Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

    , results from the monsoon
    Monsoon
    Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

     winds which change direction according to the seasons. This climate has a driest month (which nearly always occurs at or soon after the "winter" solstice
    Winter solstice
    Winter solstice may refer to:* Winter solstice, astronomical event* Winter Solstice , former band* Winter Solstice: North , seasonal songs* Winter Solstice , 2005 American film...

      for that side of the equator) with rainfall less than 60 mm, but more than (100 − [total annual precipitation {mm}/25]).


  • Tropical wet and dry or savanna
    Tropical savanna climate
    Tropical savanna climate or tropical wet and dry climate is a type of climate that corresponds to the Köppen climate classification categories "Aw" and '"As."...

     climate
    (Aw): These climates generally have a pronounced dry season, with the driest month having precipitation less than 60 mm and also less than (100 − [total annual precipitation {mm}/25]).
    • Examples:
      • Mumbai, Maharashtra
        Maharashtra
        Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

        , India
        India
        India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

      • Jakarta
        Jakarta
        Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

        , Indonesia
        Indonesia
        Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

      • Rio de Janeiro
        Rio de Janeiro
        Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

        , Rio de Janeiro
        Rio de Janeiro (state)
        Rio de Janeiro is one of the 27 states of Brazil.Rio de Janeiro has the second largest economy of Brazil behind only São Paulo state.The state of Rio de Janeiro is located within the Brazilian geopolitical region classified as the Southeast...

        , Brazil
        Brazil
        Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

      • Veracruz
        Veracruz, Veracruz
        Veracruz, officially known as Heroica Veracruz, is a major port city and municipality on the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican state of Veracruz. The city is located in the central part of the state. It is located along Federal Highway 140 from the state capital Xalapa, and is the state's most...

        , Veracruz
        Veracruz
        Veracruz, formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave , is one of the 31 states that, along with the Federal District, comprise the 32 federative entities of Mexico. It is divided in 212 municipalities and its capital city is...

        , Mexico
        Mexico
        The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

      • Port-au-Prince
        Port-au-Prince
        Port-au-Prince is the capital and largest city of the Caribbean nation of Haiti. The city's population was 704,776 as of the 2003 census, and was officially estimated to have reached 897,859 in 2009....

        , Haiti
        Haiti
        Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

      • Dar es Salaam
        Dar es Salaam
        Dar es Salaam , formerly Mzizima, is the largest city in Tanzania. It is also the country's richest city and a regionally important economic centre. Dar es Salaam is actually an administrative province within Tanzania, and consists of three local government areas or administrative districts: ...

        , Tanzania
        Tanzania
        The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

      • Lagos
        Lagos
        Lagos is a port and the most populous conurbation in Nigeria. With a population of 7,937,932, it is currently the third most populous city in Africa after Cairo and Kinshasa, and currently estimated to be the second fastest growing city in Africa...

        , Lagos State
        Lagos State
        Lagos State is an administrative division of Nigeria, located in the southwestern part of the country. The smallest in area of Nigeria's states, Lagos State is the most populous state in Nigeria and arguably the most economically important state of the country and west Africa, containing Lagos, the...

        , Nigeria
        Nigeria
        Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

      • Darwin
        Darwin, Northern Territory
        Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia. Situated on the Timor Sea, Darwin has a population of 127,500, making it by far the largest and most populated city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, but the least populous of all Australia's capital cities...

        , Northern Territory
        Northern Territory
        The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, occupying much of the centre of the mainland continent, as well as the central northern regions...

        , Australia
        Australia
        Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

      • Naples
        Naples
        Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

        , Florida
        Florida
        Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

        , United States
        United States
        The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

      • Honolulu, Hawaii
        Hawaii
        Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

        , United States
        United States
        The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...



Note that, in this scheme, many places within the tropics do not have a tropical climate: for example, the Sahara desert. Mountaintops within the tropics, e.g. Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian , Nelion and Point Lenana . Mount Kenya is located in central Kenya, just south of the equator, around north-northeast of the capital Nairobi...

, can be cold.

Intertropical Convergence Zone



Because of the effect of sun angle on climate
Effect of sun angle on climate
The amount of heat energy received at any location on the globe is a direct effect of sun angle on climate, as the angle at which sunlight strikes the Earth varies by location, time of day, and season due to the Earth's orbit around the sun and the Earth's rotation around its tilted axis...

 most areas within the tropics are hot year-round, with diurnal variations in temperature exceeding seasonal variations. Seasonal variations in tropical climate are dominated by changes in precipitation, which are in turn largely influenced by the tropical rain belt
Tropical rain belt
The rainfall, and hence the tropical climate is dominated by the tropical rain belt, which oscillates from the northern to the southern tropics over the course of the year, roughly following the solar equator; it is largely a manifestation of the ITCZ...

 or Intertropical Convergence Zone
Intertropical Convergence Zone
The Intertropical Convergence Zone , known by sailors as The Doldrums, is the area encircling the earth near the equator where winds originating in the northern and southern hemispheres come together....

 (ITCZ), a portion of the Hadley cell
Hadley cell
The Hadley cell, named after George Hadley, is a circulation pattern that dominates the tropical atmosphere, with rising motion near the equator, poleward flow 10–15 kilometers above the surface, descending motion in the subtropics, and equatorward flow near the surface...

. The ITCZ is shown, for July average, in the graphic. Areas of ascending air have heavy rainfall; areas of descending air are dry. The ITCZ somewhat follows the solar equator throughout the year, but with geographical variations, and in some areas (India) is heavily influenced by local large-scale monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

circulations,