power point - Mr. Forsdike


What Factors Affect the Climate in Canada

Ms. K. Fawcett

There are 6 Factors that affect


They are:


Ocean Currents

Winds and Air masses



Near to Water

A useful acronym to help remember these factors is:


Latitude and Climate

Latitude: gives the location of a place on earth, north or south of the border

Lines of Longitude: horizontal lines running east to west on a map

As you move away from the equator (either N or S) the average temperature decreases, but the temperature range increase


The amount of energy hitting any spot on the earth is equal

But, because the earth is curved, at certain points this energy is spread out over larger distances

low angle of incoming sunlight hits the north and south poles – less direct sunlight

Sunlight directly hits the equator overhead

– the rays are spread out in the poles and more concentrated at the equator


Temperature decreases as you move north or south of the equator because due to the curvature of the earth, less light from the sun is hitting per square meter.

Ocean Currents and Climate

An Ocean Current is Continuous, directed movement of ocean water.

The temperature of Ocean Currents can increase or reduce the temperature

• of nearby land areas.

Ocean winds blowing towards the shore will increase or decrease in

• temperature depending on the temperature of the ocean water.

EXAMPLE : North Atlantic Gulf Stream

Temperature of the current + surrounding water = overall current temperature

Current temperature affects

Air Temperature passing over it.

West Coast:

North Pacific Current = warm

- warmer air

- warmer BC climate

Labrador current meets Gulf

Stream and NFLD = FOG


Ocean currents affect climate because they influence the temperature of the air coming off the water.

Winds and Climate

Air Mass – large volume of air that takes on climate conditions

Wind – movement of air from high pressure to low pressure areas

Prevailing Wind – well established patterns of wind

Polar Front – boundary between dry, polar air, and warm, wet tropical air

Jet Stream –west to east movement of air high above polar front

Because air masses takes on their climatic conditions,

Ocean air masses = lots of moisture and warm/cool

Land Air masses = very dry and warm/cool

Winds Affect Climate

Air moves,

High Pressure

Low pressure

•  creates patterns called PREVAILING (Dominant)


» 

In Canada, blow west

 to East




Warm winds blow from hot areas and will raise temperatures


Cold winds come from cold areas and decrease the temperature

= Move air masses

 changes weather affects and

Jet Stream

The east to west movement of the jet stream controls the location of the polar front.

N of jet

Stream = COLD

S of the Jet stream =


This can have a MAJOR implications on weather.

If the jet stream shifts, there can be large shifts in temperature.

Active Weather for Canada - Today


Winds affects climate by moving air masses that mimic climatic conditions and alter the position of the jet stream.

Elevation and Climate

Temperatures decrease with Height.

Increase in elevation = decrease in temperature

Mountain ranges affect climate on both sides

The air is less dense and cannot hold heat as easily. This is how we have snow and ice at the tops of mountains

- As air rises up, it expands and cools ,it will continue till the forming of clouds, then it

• becomes saturated

Results in precipitation

Rain, snow, freezing rain, hail

Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya


Increased elevation causes temperature decreases and precipitation increases

Elevation and Climate

The windward coastal side of the mountain range will receive lots of precipitation as it rises up over the mountain, the air cools and causes it to release the moisture.

This is called Orographic Precipitation

The other side of the mountain range will be in an air called the rain shadow , meaning that this area will not receive any moisture from prevailing winds.

No precipitation since it was lost on the other side of the mountain

Relief and Climate

Mountain barriers create relief precipitation


The presence of mountains will cause cooler and wetter climates on windward sides and drier and warmer climates on leeward sides

Near Water and Climate

Land heats and cools faster than water

Therefore, coastal areas have a lower temperature range than those that are inland.

Near Water and Climate

Continental Climate

(not close to body of water – Interior locations) large temp. range hot = summer, cold = winter

Low amounts of precipitation

Maritime Climate

(close to large water bodies – coastal location)

Relatively small temperature range

A lot of precipitation

Mild winters and cool summers


The temperature range and amount of precipitation can be influenced by the proximity of the body of water.

What Climate Factor(s) Affect the following regions in Canada?

Cold Temperatures in the Arctic

Dry Areas in the B.C Interior

Fog in Newfoundland

Snow in British Columbia Mountains

Snow in Ontario

Heat in Ontario – Sauble Beach