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Temperate Climate

Last updated date: 16th May 2024
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Temperate Zone

The temperate zone is the area of the earth that lies between the middle latitudes, which is 40 degrees to 60 degrees to the north-south of the Equator. The temperate zones are located in the regions of the Earth between the tropic regions and the polar regions. The climate that occurs in this region is called the temperate climate. If the average yearly temperatures of these regions are calculated, they are not extreme, not burning hot nor are they freezing cold. Temperate temperature is moderate. While in the tropics, the temperatures may drastically change between the summer and winter. 

The temperate zone has the following features:

  • Few parts of the temperate zone have a Mediterranean climate, that is they have a dry summer – like in Rome, Cape Town, Santiago or Adelaide.

  • The northern part of the temperate zones experiences the continental climate and has severe winters like in Moscow or Minnesota; this kind of climate is called HemiBoreal climate.   

  • Some places in the temperate zone experience hot summers and cold winters, like Chicago, Beijing, Budapest, or Almaty. 

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An Overview of the Temperate Climate

The temperate climate is also sometimes known as the Tepid climate. These zones, the tropic and polar zones, generally have a temperature which are of wider ranges. Also, the seasonal changes in these zones are also distinct in comparison to the tropical climates, where such variations are found to be little. Usually, the region of the earth that falls in the temperate climate zones, experiences the hot summers and the cold winters, evidence of it can be found in the cities such as Chicago, Beijing, Budapest etc. While, other parts of the temperate climate zones feel dry summers, such as Rome, Cape Town, and Santiago.

In temperate climates, along with the influence of the latitudinal positions on the change of temperature, the sea currents, the wind direction which is prevailing at the time, the largeness of the landmass, and also the altitudes, impact the temperate climates.

According to the Koppen climate classification, which is a system of climate classification that is used widely worldwide, the temperature is above -3 degrees Celsius or 26.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and below 18 degrees Celsius or 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit, is defined as the temperate climate.

The area between the Tropic of Cancer, which is approximately 23.5 degrees north latitude, and the arctic circle which is approximately 66.5 degrees north latitude, come under the north temperate zone. The Tropic of Capricorn, which is approximately 23.5 degrees south latitude, and the Antarctic circle, which is approximately 66.5 degrees south latitude- these two regions cover the south temperate zone.

Many of the climate classifications divide the temperate zone into several smaller climate zones, and this division is based on the monthly temperatures, the coldest month, and the rainfall. The humid subtropical climate, the climate of the Mediterranean, oceanic climate, and continental climate.

The Temperate climates have relatively moderate and mean annual temperatures, with average monthly temperatures which are more than 10°C in its warmest months and more than −3°C in the colder months. 

Most of the regions coming under the temperate climate present four seasons, while the temperatures can change majorly between the summer and winter. Most of the people live in temperate zones and there the human population in the coastal regions is about three times higher than the global average.

Temperature Zones of Earth

The temperate zone of the earth is divided into five distinct zones. The distinction is based on their climatic conditions, which are known as geographical zones. These zones are the North Frigid Zone, the North Temperate Zone, the Tropics, the South Frigid Zone, and the South Temperate Zone.

Warm Temperate Climate

The warm temperate climates are defined in the Koppen climate, which is classified as having the coldest month with an average temperature that drops below 18°C but which is more than −3°C. Thus, in a warm temperate climate, there is a distinct summer and winter season. The warm temperate climates will have a lot of rainfall which may be seasonal or permanent.


North Temperate Zone 

The North Temperate Zone, which is situated between the Arctic Circle at the 66° 33' N and the Tropic of Cancer at 23° 27' N, covers 25.99% of Earth's surface. The Torrid Zone, between the Tropic of Cancer at 23° 27' N and the Tropic of Capricorn at 23° 27' S, covers approximately 39.78% of Earth's surface.

Tropical and Temperate Region 

The tropical zone has a temperature of 65 degrees F or above. The tropical region is also referred to as tropical or the torrid zone. While, in the temperate region, there is a variation in temperature which is not extreme of cold nor of hot. This region lies between the equator and the pole. 

The tropical regions are the area of the Earth which is between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, from the latitude lines 23.5 degrees north and south of the equator, respectively. While the temperate regions are between the subtropical and the polar regions.

Temperate Zone Latitude

The two temperate zones of the earth  it consist of tepid latitudes. Here the sun is never at the top of the head, here the climate is mild which is generally ranging from warmer to cooler regions. The four annual seasons which occur in these areas are – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Europe, Northern Asia, and Central America come under the North Temperate zone. While South America and South Australia come under the Southern Temperate Zone.


Therefore, we can summarize that the temperate climate has average temperature between 0 and 20°C, and it rarely experiences extreme temperature and precipitation. The vegetation of temperate regions include deciduous forests, warm temperate forests, and savannah. The temperate climate zone covers most of the regions of North America, all of Europe, most part of northern Asia, and the southern parts of South America and Australia.

FAQs on Temperate Climate

1. What is Mediterranean Climate?

The distinct mark of the Mediterranean climate is that it has mild and wet winters and warm to hot, dry summers. This occurs on the west side of the continents between 30° and 40° latitude. While the large mass of water is another unique feature of the Mediterranean region.

The cause of this type of climate is connected to the large bodies of water such as the Mediterranean Sea and its ocean currents. During the summer, the cold currents keep the climate quite mild and dry. While during the winter the water that got warmed in the summer moves in the land warm and thus brings rain.

2. What is Hemi Boreal Climate?

Hemi Boreal type climate indicates the midway between the temperate climate and subarctic (or the boreal) zones. This term is most frequently used in the context of studying ecosystems.

The forest shares feature with the temperate zone forest to the south. Coniferous trees are found in the Hemi Boreal forests. Other trees like Oak, Maple, Ash trees and also abundant in this forest. 

3. What is Koppen Climate Classification?

The Koppen climate classification divides the climates into five distinct and main climate groups, while each of these is being divided that is based on the seasonal precipitation and its temperature patterns. The five main groups are:

  • A (tropical)

  • B (dry)

  • C (temperate)

  • D (continental)

  • E (polar)

The group and its subgroup are represented by a respective letter.