Weather is the result of reaction between the Earth’s atmosphere to the Sun coupled with encounters with other random and limiting factors like the friction with land and the earth’s gravitational force.
The average of the variable weather conditions for over a long period of time is referred to as the Climate. How can the possible weather conditions of a geographical area be predicted? Average conditions of a place considered for a period of more than 30 years along with the prevalent extremities describe the climate of that area.
The description of climate of a particular place should consist of the information related to the rainfall, cloud cover, moisture, direction and speed of wind, prevalent temperatures, time of sunshine and several other factors.
Our desire is to learn the ways of predicting the possible climatic variations in the similar fashion like we wish to predict about the oncoming weather conditions. However, the time periods for climatic changes are much more compared to the time of weather changes.
It has been a constant endeavor of the mankind to explore and know the world. This is no exception for climate and weather as well. With the increase in our understanding about the different patterns of weather and climate for longer time periods, we have created our unique ways of classifying and summarizing the different zones of global climate.
These climate zones are differentiated based on the Antarctic and Arctic circles, whose latitudes are 66.5 degrees south and north respectively and the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn at 23.5 degrees north and south respectively.
This area in between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn is known as low latitudes. The climate along this area is characterized by high humidity, heavy rains and minimal temperature variation and is known as tropical climate.
The areas within the tropics and Antarctic and Arctic circles are referred to as the middle latitudes. These areas usually experience moderate climates with four distinct seasons. This type of climate is referred to as the temperate climates that have cold winters and warm summers with a uniform rainfall.
The region between the Antarctic and Arctic circles and the poles is called the high latitudes that experience polar climates. The winters are very long and cold while the summers are a little warmer here. Snowfall is very common in the Polar climate zones.
Though the climate zones provide with a broad overview of the global weather, each zone experience some variations in the local weathers. These climate zones are further sub-classified based on maritime and continental places. The maritime places are the areas along the coasts that have a very different climate from the continental or inland places. However the sub-classifications cannot justify the variations due to the ocean currents and mountain ranges.
It is obvious that the global zones of climate vary locally to some extent. In some cases, these variations may persist for a long time and result in anomalies in the climatic conditions. Still the classifications of global zones of climate are useful in providing with an idea of the weather patterns across the globe and the expected weather for an area.