Encyclopedia of World Climatology

2005 Edition
| Editors: John E. Oliver

Central America and the Caribbean, Climate of

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-3266-8_37

Central America and the Caribbean span the deep tropics and subtropics. Because of the tropical maritime location temperature changes throughout the region are generally small, and rainfall is by far the most important meteorological element. In general the climate of the region is controlled by the migration of synoptic features, and the mean climate strongly reflects the annual cycle of these features.

The most dominant synoptic influence is the subtropical high of the north Atlantic. Subsidence associated with the spreading of the subtropical high from the north Atlantic to the north American landmass dominates during boreal winter, as do the strong easterly trades found on its equatorward flank. Coupled with a strong trade inversion, a cold ocean and reduced atmospheric humidity, the region is generally at its driest during the winter. With the onset of boreal spring, however, the subtropical high moves offshore and trade wind intensity decreases, with convergence characterizing...

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    Azores (Bermuda) HighGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Humid ClimatesGoogle Scholar
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    Intertropical Convergence ZoneGoogle Scholar
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    Orographic PrecipitationGoogle Scholar
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    Tropical and Equatorial ClimatesGoogle Scholar
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