continental climate

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Related to continental climate: Tropical climate

continental climate

a climate characterized by hot summers, cold winters, and little rainfall, typical of the interior of a continent

Continental Climate


a climate formed when large land masses exert a dominant influence on the atmosphere; the climate in the interior of a continent.

In the temperate latitudes, a continental climate is usually characterized by a large annual range of air temperature (hot summers and cold winters) and considerable daily variations in air temperature. A continental climate differs from a marine climate in having a low mean annual temperature, low humidity, and dustier air. Cloudiness is comparatively slight in a continental climate. There is little precipitation, and the maximum precipitation usually occurs in the summer. The wind velocity is also low. The weather is more variable than in a marine climate. In a continental climate of the tropics, the annual range of air temperature is not as great as in the temperate latitudes, and more rain falls than in a marine climate. In the polar latitudes there is a large annual range of air temperature, and summers are very cold. A continental climate can also extend in a weak form to the parts of the oceans closest to the continents, if continental air masses reach them throughout the year.

A continental climate must be distinguished from a monsoonal climate, which results from the dominant influence of continental air masses in winter and oceanic air masses in summer. Gradual transitions exist between marine and continental climates. For example, the climate of Western Europe is mostly marine; the European USSR, moderately continental; Eastern Siberia, markedly continental; and the Far East, monsoonal.


continental climate

[¦känt·ən¦ent·əl ′klī·mət]
Climate characteristic of the interior of a landmass of continental size, marked by large annual, daily, and day-to-day temperature ranges, low relative humidity, and a moderate or small irregular rainfall; annual extremes of temperature occur soon after the solstices.
References in periodicals archive ?
Austria has equally strong cultural links with Hungary and in many ways it has much more in common with its eastern neighbour, both in some of the grape varieties it uses, and its warm, continental climate.
For an increasingly continental climate, predictions range between 7 days at the start of spring and 11 days at the end of spring.
What type of production halls are needed in a country where building activity is brisk, the distance from extreme east to extreme west is 8,000 km and where there is a severe continental climate with cold winters and hot summers?
The global coring operations have resulted in information essential to our understanding of continental climate and atmospheric and oceanic circulation during the Cretaceous period and Cenozoic era, information that is not present on the continents but only beneath the oceans and which can be recovered only by ocean drilling.
It has 45 miles of beautiful coastline, some of the best beaches in Europe and a continental climate which blends perfectly with British traditions and heritage.
We demonstrated the presence of a mosquito-borne flavivirus, never before observed outside tropical and subtropical Africa, in the continental climate of central Europe, where winter temperatures are as low as -20[degrees]C.
Though Prince George is quite a long way below the Arctic Circle, it has a continental climate and, while it can often be bright and sunny, winter temperatures descend towards -40degC, with wind effects on top of that.
Contributors: C Butzke, Purdue University, R Ford-Kapoor, Institute for Continental Climate Viticulture and Enology, J McAnnany, Karl L.
The continental climate results in cold sunny weather dominating the winter until late February allowing for fine powder snow conditions (and by late March it is possible to ski in a T-shirt
Zone 1B lies east of the Great Divide, where the continental climate reigns supreme.

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