Mediterranean Climate - Characteristics

Characteristics

The climate is characterized by warm to hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. Mediterranean climate zones are associated with the five large subtropical high pressure cells of the oceans: the Azores High, South Atlantic High, North Pacific High, South Pacific High, and Indian Ocean High. These high pressure cells shift towards the poles in the summer and towards the equator in the winter, playing a major role in the formation of the world's tropical deserts and the Mediterranean Basin's climate.

The South Atlantic High is similarly associated with the Namib Desert and the Mediterranean climate of the western part of South Africa. The North Pacific High is related to the Sonoran Desert and California's climate, while the South Pacific High is related to the Atacama Desert and central Chile's climate, and the Indian Ocean High is related to the deserts of western Australia (Great Sandy Desert, Great Victoria Desert, and Gibson Desert) and the Mediterranean climate of southwest and south-central Australia.

Most large, historic cities of the Mediterranean basin, including Athens, Algiers, Barcelona, Beirut, İzmir, Jerusalem, Marseille, Rome and Tunis, lie within Mediterranean climatic zones, as do major cities outside of the Mediterranean basin, such as Lisbon, Casablanca, Cape Town, Adelaide, Perth, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santiago de Chile, Tashkent and Dushanbe.

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