Mediterranean Climate - Temperature


The majority of the regions with Mediterranean climates have relatively mild winters and very warm summers. However winter and summer temperatures can vary greatly between different regions with a Mediterranean climate. In the case of winters for instance, Lisbon experiences very mild temperatures in the winter, with frost and snow practically unknown, whereas Thessaloniki has colder winters with annual frosts and snowfall. In the case of summers for instance, Athens experiences rather high temperatures in the summer (48 °C (118 °F) has been measured in nearby Eleusina). In contrast, San Francisco has mild summers due to the upwelling of cold subsurface waters along the coast producing regular summer fog that does not reach far inland; Sacramento, roughly 150 kilometres (93 mi) to the northeast and beyond hills that delay onshore breezes or summer fog, has frequent summer high temperatures near 40 °C (104 °F). However, the Sacramento River Delta sits in a gap between those hills, allowing particularly persistent summer breezes and the marine layer (fog) to sometimes reach even Sacramento; indeed, gardening magazines refer to Sacramento as "marine-influenced" despite its inland location.

Because most regions with a Mediterranean climate are near large bodies of water, temperatures are generally moderate with a comparatively small range of temperatures between the winter low and summer high (although the daily range of temperature during the summer is large due to dry and clear conditions, except along the immediate coasts). Temperatures during winter only occasionally fall below the freezing point and snow generally is seldom seen. In the summer, the temperatures range from mild to very hot, depending on distance from a large body of water, elevation, and latitude. Even in the warmest locations with a Mediterranean-type climate, however, temperatures usually do not reach the highest readings found in adjacent desert regions because of cooling from water bodies, although strong winds from inland desert regions can sometimes boost summer temperatures, quickly increasing the risk of wildfires.

As in every climatologic domain, the highland locations of the Mediterranean domain can present cooler temperatures in winter than the lowland areas, temperatures which can sometimes prohibit the growth of typical Mediterranean plants. Some Spanish authors opt to use the term "Continental Mediterranean climate" for some regions with lower temperature in winter than the coastal areas (direct translation from Clima Mediterráneo Continentalizado), but most climate classifications (including Köppen's Cs zones) show no distinction.

Additionally, the temperature and rainfall pattern for a Csa or even a Csb climate can exist as a microclimate in some high-altitude locations adjacent to a rare tropical As (summer-drought tropical climate, typically in a rainshadow region).

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Famous quotes containing the word temperature:

    The bourgeois treasures nothing more highly than the self.... And so at the cost of intensity he achieves his own preservation and security. His harvest is a quiet mind which he prefers to being possessed by God, as he prefers comfort to pleasure, convenience to liberty, and a pleasant temperature to that deathly inner consuming fire.
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