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Climate Zones of the United States Essay

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Updated: Feb 14th, 2022

The types of climate zones

The U.S. is a vast country and is home to almost every type of climate zones. The four types of climate zones generally are polar, temperate, tropical climates, and deserts (Rohli and Vega 180). All of their subtypes can be spotted in the U.S.: from arctic and subarctic in Alaska to tropical in the Hawaiian Islands, California, and Florida. In general, the majority of the territory belongs to a temperate (continental) climate, humid in the east and dry in the west, with hot summers and cold winters.

The tropical climate can be seen in Florida and Hawaii, the warmest regions of the U.S., winters here are warm, and summers are scorching. The desert climate is in Arizona and eastern California where the Death Valley and the Grand Canyon can be found as examples. The polar climate zone with freezing winters and cool summers is influencing the nature of the Northern Interior, Great Lakes, and New England. There are other climate subtypes such as Mediterranean (South Florida), temperate oceanic (Pacific Northwest).

Atmospheric currents

One of the fundamental factors determining the climate in the United States is the presence of atmospheric currents, which carry air masses and moisture from the North Pacific Ocean on the continent. The moist Pacific cyclones abundantly irrigate the northwestern coast of the country with rain or snow (Rohli and Vega 185). As for the southern regions of the U.S., in California, precipitation mainly falls in the fall and winter, so summer is dry and hot there. A barrier arises in the form of the Pacific mountains and the Rocky Mountains on the way the air masses move inland. Because of this, the region of the Intermontane Plateau and the western part of the Great Plains is almost always dry. Also, the climate of the United States of America is greatly influenced by the warm tropical air currents coming here from the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.

Work Cited

Rohli, Robert V., and Anthony J. Vega. Climatology. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2017.

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