The 7 major factors that affect
7 major factors that affect climate…
(You can refer back to map on p. 52
when studying!)
High Latitudes:
 N.of the Arctic circle & also
 S. of the Antarctic circle
 They have ONE Season - Cold (ex:Antarctica)
Mid Latitudes:
 Between T. of Cancer & Arctic Circle
 Also between T. of Capricorn & Antarctic circle.
 4 Seasons – Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall (ex:USA)
Low Latitudes:
•Between T. of Cancer & T. of Capricorn
•Tropical, near the equator.
•2 seasons -Wet & Dry (ex: Mexico, much of Africa) – in
most places
 The higher you go, the colder it gets.
 As you go up in elevation, the air gets thinner and
does not trap heat.
 Are there glaciers on the equator??
Orographic Effect
 As winds blow across the ocean, they push moisture inland.
 When the moisture cloud reaches the mountains it gets
“popped” by the mountain top and rains on the coastal side (ex:
California & the Sierra Nevada Mtns.)
 By the time this cloud reaches the other side of the mountains,
the air is dry.
What very dry state do you find
East of the Sierra Nevada Mts.??
Orographic Effect
 Why is there so little difference between summer and winter along the
coast of California?
It takes the ocean a long time to heat & cool!
Wind blowing off of the water moderates
the coastal areas.
 What is the difference between summer
& winter in Kansas?
BIG difference in seasons…why?
Land heats & cools quickly!!
 So… The closer an area is to a large body of water, the smaller the difference
in temperature, the farther away from water, the greater.
 The UK & Europe are on the same line of latitude as Canada.
 Do they experience the same climate?
 A warm current called the North Atlantic Drift flows up from the equator
and blows across the water and keeps Europe warmer than it should
be at that latitude
What about the Atacama Desert in Chile? Located on the coast, but one of the
driest places on earth…
Do not necessarily affect climate, but they do occur regularly in
certain parts of the world & are associated with certain climates.
 When the weather person
refers to a high pressure
system, usually it means
that moisture is high in the
atmosphere and it signifies
a pattern of fair weather.
 A low pressure system
usually brings rain.
L – Latitude:
 Areas closer to the poles (arctic) receive less direct sunlight than areas closer to the equator
E – Elevation
 Air become less dense at higher elevations and cannot retain as much heat or moisture.
 The temperature decreases 3.5 degrees for every 1000 ft. above sea level.
M –Mountain Barriers
 As airmasses cross over mtn. ranges, they lose their water vapor through condensation.
 Rain Shadows form on the leeward side of mtn. ranges.
P – Proximity to Large Bodies of Water
 Large bodies of water are slower to heat and cool than the air on land and this lessens
extremes of hot or cold temperature.
 Cool winds in summer, warm winds in winter.
O – Ocean currents
 Warm currents circulate from the equator, cold currents from the poles.
 Cold currents cool nearby coasts, and warm currents…examples: S. California, Western
S – Storms
 Temporary and severe changes in weather.
 Changes follow a typical pattern in a climate region.
 Same types of storms get different regional name.
A – Atmospheric Pressure
 Effect of lingering HIGH and LOW pressure systems creates certain types of weather