Dangers of Weather and Climate

Table of Contents


The venerable Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines weather as:

The state of the atmosphere with respect to heat or cold, wetness or dryness, calm or storm, clearness or cloudiness


National Geographic defines climate this way:

“Climate is the long-term pattern of weather in a particular area. Weather can change from hour-to-hour, day-to-day, month-to-month or even year-to-year. A region’s weather patterns, usually tracked for at least 30 years, are considered its climate.”

Think of climate as the macro-predictable weather trends of a region.

Climates are often classified by the Koppen classification system. Check out this table from the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy: 

CodeDescriptionGroupPrecipitation TypeLevel of Heat
AfTropical rainforest climateTropicalRainforest
AmTropical monsoon climateTropicalMonsoon
AsTropical dry savanna climateTropicalSavanna, Dry
AwTropical savanna, wetTropicalSavanna, Wet
BShHot semi-arid (steppe) climateAridSteppeHot
BSkCold semi-arid (steppe) climateAridSteppeCold
BWhHot deserts climateAridDesertHot
BWkCold desert climateAridDesertCold
CfaHumid subtropical climateTemperateWithout dry seasonHot summer
CfbTemperate oceanic climateTemperateWithout dry seasonWarm summer
CfcSubpolar oceanic climateTemperateWithout dry seasonCold summer
CsaHot-summer Mediterranean climateTemperateDry summerHot summer
CsbWarm-summer Mediterranean climateTemperateDry summerWarm summer
CscCool-summer Mediterranean climateTemperateDry summerCold summer
CwaMonsoon-influenced humid subtropical climateTemperateDry winterHot summer
CwbSubtropical highland climate or temperate oceanic climate with dry wintersTemperateDry winterWarm summer
CwcCold subtropical highland climate or subpolar oceanic climate with dry wintersTemperateDry winterCold summer
DfaHot-summer humid continental climateCold (continental)Without dry seasonHot summer
DfbWarm-summer humid continental climateCold (continental)Without dry seasonWarm summer
DfcSubarctic climateCold (continental)Without dry seasonCold summer
DfdExtremely cold subarctic climateCold (continental)Without dry seasonVery cold winter
DsaHot, dry-summer continental climateCold (continental)Dry summerHot summer
DsbWarm, dry-summer continental climateCold (continental)Dry summerWarm summer
DscDry-summer subarctic climateCold (continental)Dry summerCold summer
DwaMonsoon-influenced hot-summer humid continental climateCold (continental)Dry winterHot summer
DwbMonsoon-influenced warm-summer humid continental climateCold (continental)Dry winterWarm summer
DwcMonsoon-influenced subarctic climateCold (continental)Dry winterCold summer
DwdMonsoon-influenced extremely cold subarctic climateCold (continental)Dry winterVery cold winter
EFIce cap climatePolarIce cap

Climate can vary widely by elevation. In fact, a single mountain can host 4-5 different climate zones!

Here is a Wikipedia map showing the general distribution of climate zones across the world.