The cold climates have a warm summer and a cold winter. This type of climate is typical of large continents. Summers have an average temperature above 10°C. On the other hand, winters have an average temperature below 0°C.
Photo: a continental climate deciduous forest (Creative Commons: Nicholas Antonelli).
Cold climates are associated with large land masses. The land masses warm up or cool down rapidly with the change of seasons. This results in large temperature changes from the summer to the winter months.
The cold climates are found in the northern hemisphere with its large continents. They are located from the northeastern USA to Canada. They are also found in eastern Europe to southwestern Russia.
The two major types of cold climates are the continental and boreal climates.
The continental climates range from 30°N to 50°N latitude. They are found in North America, Eastern Europe and Asia. Summer temperatures are warm (over 20° C). However, winter temperatures can drop to nearly -40° C.
Various types of vegetation communities are found in these climates. They range from forests to grasslands. One distinctive type of community is the deciduous forest. These forests have a seasonal life cycle and lose their leaves during colder months. The leaves return during the warmer months.
Photo: a boreal forest or taiga (Creative Commons: Andre Glcechiko).
The boreal climate is located from 50° to 70° latitude. It is found in the northern latitudes of North America and Asia. The summer is short with mild temperatures.
Winters, on the other hand, are very long and cold. Winters range from five to seven months long. During this season, average temperatures are below freezing. They may even drop to below -40° C.
Precipitation is low throughout the year. Vegetation consists mostly of evergreen conifers. This forest type is known as the taiga. The taiga is the largest type of forest community on the planet.
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Continental Climate, Enviropedia.