Mediterranean Climate

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Mediterranean climate

[‚med·ə·tə′rā·nē·ən ′klī·mət]
A type of climate characterized by hot, dry, sunny summers and a winter rainy season; basically, this is the opposite of a monsoon climate. Also known as etesian climate.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mediterranean Climate


a subtropical climate with hot dry summers and mild rainy winters. It occurs in the countries of the Mediterranean region; in the USSR such a climate is found on the Southern Crimean Shore and along the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus northwest of Tuapse. Variations of the Mediterranean climate are observed in the subtropical latitudes along the Pacific coast of North and South America, in southwestern Africa, and in Australia.

Regions with a Mediterranean climate come under the dominant influence of subtropical anticyclones in the summer and experience strong cyclonic activity in winter. In most of the Mediterranean the mean monthly temperature is 20°–25°C in summer and 5°–12°C in winter. The annual precipitation is usually 400–600 mm (more than 1,000 mm in places in the mountains), with the minimum occurring in summer, a time of drought. A permanent snow cover never forms. Owing to greater oceanic influence, the Mediterranean climate in southwestern Africa, the Americas, and Australia is marked by cooler summers (15°–20°C) and milder winters (10°–15°C). In the eastern and southern Mediterranean there is a continental variant of the Mediterranean climate with less precipitation (up to 100–200 mm a year). The Southwest Asian Highlands have a cold winter. The natural vegetation in regions with a Mediterranean climate consists of many drought-resistant species, including evergreen trees and shrubs.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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