The Climates of Asia

Asia is the biggest continent in the world. Due to its great size and extensive area which it covers from North to South and from East to West, a wide variety of climates exist. The climates of Asia can broadly be divided into following types:

The Equatorial Climate

This climate is found in areas located very close to the equator. The climate is hot and humid all the year round with excessive rainfall. There is no dry season and the rainfall is equally distributed in all months of the year. This type of climate is also called the climate of three eighties i.e., 80 F ( 27 C ) temperature throughout the year, 80 in (2000 mm) or more total annual rainfall and 80% relative humidity throughout the year. This type of climate is found in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The Monsoon Climates

This type has a definite dry season and a definite wet season. The cooler season is dry while the hot season is very wet indeed. The best example is the monsoon of the Indian Sub-Continent. Mumbai for example records more than 2000mm (80 inches) of rain in a year but months from December to February are absolutely dry. During the summer season, warm and moist winds blow from the Indian ocean towards India which bring heavy rain. In the cooler months the wind direction is from the land towards the sea so the winds are drier and bring little or no rain. China also experiences this type of climate but the temperatures are cooler than those of Indian monsoon so it is called China type of monsoon.

The Desert Climates

These type of Climates are found in Central Asia, Saudi Arabia, Iran , North-West India and South-East Pakistan. Although the deserts of Central Asia like Gobi and Taklamakan lie outside the tropics , the excessive heat they face in summer make them similar to the deserts of the lower latitudes. All deserts have the same characteristic features: very low rainfall and extremes of temperature. The rainfall is generally les than 10 inches (250 mm ). The difference between the hottest and coldest month is great . At Luktchun 43 N 90 E in Central Asia mean temperature of the hottest month is 90 F ( 32.2 C ) which rather matches with the tropical deserts but the coldest month records 13 F ( -10.6 C) which is unthinkable in hotter deserts located in Arabia etc.

The Middle Latitude Grassland Climates

This type of climate is found in the west of Central Asia where Asia meets with Europe at Ural Mountains and on the fringes of Mongolia. The summers are warm , the winters cold with moderate rainfall falling mostly in the summer months. The summer temperature generally does not rise above 75 F ( 23 C ) but winters are quite cold with two to three months below 32 F ( 0 C ).

The Cold Temperate Climate

This type of climate is found at higher latitudes normally above 50 degrees North and have moderate to cool summers and very cold winters. Since these area are very far off from the nearby sea it has got extremes of temperature .The climate is so extreme that such type of extremes are not found anywhere else in the world. Typical example of this type of climate is Verkoyansk in Siberia which is located at 68 degrees North and 133 East . The temperature for the month of July at this station is 60 F ( 16 C ) whereas the temperate for January is -58 F (-50 C ) – a range of 118 F! The precipitation is a moderate 14.7 inches (373 mm) and is mostly in the form of snow.

The Artic or Tundra Climate

This type of climate occurs in the extreme north of the continent near the North Pole. The climate is extremely cold all the year round and no month is above 43 F ( 6 C ) so no plantation or vegetation can survive. Only Eskimos who have adapted themselves to this sort of harsh climate can survive in this climatic zone. They have special type of houses made of snow locally called igloos to keep them warm.

The Mediterranean Climate

This type of climate with hot dry summers and cool wet winters occur in Turkey, Syria and along the coastal areas of Israel and Lebanon. Istanbul in Turkey is the best example . The hottest month records 74 F ( 23 C ) , the coolest 43 ( 6 C) . Total annual rainfall is 29 in ( 736 mm) of which 20 inches occurs from November to March and the summers are very dry indeed .

This in short is a brief detail of different climatic zones found in the continent of Asia.

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