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Continental climate

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Part of the book series: Encyclopedia of Earth Science ((EESS))

A continental climate is located in the interior of a continent or is a climate having characteristics similar to those found in such locations. Continental is a descriptive term that is general rather than specific. It includes temperature extremes, large diurnal and seasonal ranges of temperature, small annual precipitation totals, and low relative humidities.

Perhaps the most diagnostic condition of a continental climate is a large range of temperature. Annual ranges of temperature in excess of 60°C are experienced in central and eastern Siberia. Central Canada has a slightly smaller range, 40–50°C per year. Daily ranges of temperature are characteristically large also. The mean daily range of temperature at Glasgow, Montana (48° 13′N.) is 10°C in January and 16.3°C in July. Variations in diurnal temperature are also common due to temporal changes in sky clarity, air stability, presence of inversions, etc. Not unexpectedly, temperature curves follow radiation very closely....

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© 1987 Van Nostrand Reinhold

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Duckson, D.W. (1987). Continental climate . In: Climatology. Encyclopedia of Earth Science. Springer, Boston, MA.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-87933-009-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-0-387-30749-7

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive

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