Climate refers to the weather condition of a certain given area over a long period of time, usually after a period of 30 years. The climatic conditions are arrived at as a result of several factors such as nearness to large water bodies, latitudinal factors, the altitude patterns, human activities, the relief, and distance from the equator, direction of wind and the flow of ocean currents to a given area. This paper explores the climatic condition of the city of san fransisco, CA and Key West, Florida.
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San Francisco is a county in California State. It’s among the most populous regions in California with varied socio-cultural prospects and a robust economic platform. The city sits on the north of the peninsular where it borders Pacific Ocean and San Francisco bay to the west and northern end respectively.
Francisco city is a renowned world’s tourist destined site, thanks to its exclusive prevailing weather patterns courtesy of the climatic condition. The climatic pattern is the Mediterranean climate; group Cs, which is a sub type of the temperate climate according to the koppen classification. Many factors contribute to the climatic condition. Due to proximity to sea, ocean currents flow to and fro thereby bringing about the cooling effect.
It’s because of these cool currents that produce humid conditions of warmth and small variations of yearly temperatures. The city undergoes dry intervals between the May all the way to October then giving way to the start of the rains from November to the April. During the rainy period, rain falls slightly more than one week which makes about 5 percent of the annual total rainfall that occurs.
The rain pattern is prompted by the air masses from the warm north-west front and the cold front from the Alaskan gulf. Thus, the city endures a maximum average temperatures of 60º F and 70ºF and minimum of 50ºF and 55ºF during summer with cool sea breeze and foggy conditions .On the other hand, winter is characterized by much fog and even transport operations may be disrupted during such periods.
The city also experiences the spring and fall seasons. At such times, the skies are usually clear during the shift from summer season to the more cold winter period defined by heavy rainy clouds. It is also during this period when dry offshore currents oust the sea currents from the pacific resulting in the alteration of temperature thereby making it the hottest period in San Francisco city.
Due to latitudinal differences, the precipitation patterns of San Francisco vary from one area to the other. This is depicted by the relief of the area which anchors on the terrain, which is dotted with a number of hills. As a result, air from the pacific gets lifted upward over the high topographical features.
The outcome of such movement across the different contours between a maximum of 22´ and 18´ produces an effect of open variation in precipitation pattern. Precipitation patterns on an average yearly basis stands at about 500mm and certainly takes place from November through to April when rainfall is experienced and this is equivalent to 20 inches (Gabler 49).
Vegetation refers to the plant concentration in an area. The topographic convention of San Francisco city is marked with several hills. The terrain and proximity to the sea front produce several features associated with a variety of native vegetation. These range from wild flowers to woodlands.
Take for instance; areas close to the sea front is almost bare as it is mainly dotted by sand dunes. The numerous hilly areas typically are cooler thus the vegetation becomes denser .San Francisco is perceived to be a major urban centre in California, unfortunately, the native vegetation is quietly and quickly giving way to the rapid urban expansion as a result of the human activities involved. San Francisco city’s climate can be described as, Csb according to the koppen climate classification system.
Finally, Key West is a city in Monroe County; Florida. It covers Key West and stock isles. This city is also a major tourist destination due to its characteristics cruise ships. Its geographical map can be defined by 24º 33´North and 81 º 03´West with a maximum height above sea level standing at 6m or 18 feet. It’s also in this region that tropical cyclones are more prone because most of the topographical features sit at no more than 20 feet.
This system affects wind movement and alters rainfall patterns which causes unpredictable warming of water surface thereby forcing moisture into the atmosphere through the immense energy produced hence causing tornadoes and even forest fires. The Florida Keys manifest to a process of glaciations hence sits on a coral base (Gabler 57).
These phenomena point to the existence of limestone beds along the peninsula and the coral reef to the west that has since been covered with sand. According to koppen classification system, Key West city has a relatively mild nature, tropical climate. This is so because Key West lies close to the equator which is also a major factor that can determine the climate of an area as it receives more sunshine.
This type of climate can be credited to several factors too. Take for example, the Gulf Stream and the Gulf of Mexico that borders the city to the north and to the west contributes to the average humid conditions linked to this region. Due to the closeness of this area to the sea, the currents bring about the cooling effect as they flow from the sea front onto the mainland.
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This attest to the fact that, cold currents meet with the warm fonts from the northern part during winter. Because of this situation, the temperatures in this region always maintain a figure not less than 10 ºC or 50 ºF.The month of July is usually accompanied by 26.4 ºC and 31.9ºC at an average of low and high temperatures in that order.
Here, there are two major highlights of climate. The two climatic seasons run from June to October marked by hot and wet, plus humid conditions. The other season commence from the month of November to May. This period features both dry and cool weather circumstances that further explain the reason for the state of the summer conditions. As summer approaches, the heat is moderated with easterly winds and the current from the sea hence forming humid weather patterns (Gabler 54).
The hot season between November and April experiences little rain with abundant sunshine, while the wet season of May and October receives slightly higher rainfall annually compared to the former with occasional thunderstorms due to the easterly winds. This regulates the precipitation patterns hence the outcome of this process produces low precipitation on average. Thus, making Key West as the city with the most pronounced dry conditions in the state of Florida.
The vegetation of Key West is as varied as the topographical features are concerned. Generally, the environmental features resemble that of the Caribbean even though the Key West islands were formed as a result of sea animals and water plants. The vegetation landscape takes after natural habitats found in areas of high altitude mainly occasioned by upland forests such as maple, pine, oak and tropical species like mahogany and many others.
The sea shore exhibit varied vegetation too, like coconut palm, hibiscus trees, and the bougainvillea and papaya species. Exotic species can also thrive here because of the favorable climate that supports their growth. Consequently, the climate of Key West area is therefore Aw, according to koppen climate classification system.
Gabler, Robert. The Fundamentals of Physical Geography. California. Barnes & Noble, 2008. Print.