Koeppen’s Climate Classification

Koeppen’s Climate Classification

  • V. Koeppen has identified a close relationship between the distribution of vegetation and climate. He selected certain values of temperature and precipitation and related them with the distribution of vegetation and used the values for classifying the world climates.
  • Likewise, Koeppen’s world climate classification is based on mean annual and mean monthly temperature and precipitation data.
  • Koeppen used symbolic (alphabetic) letters (i.e. use of capital and small letters) to designate climatic groups and types.
  • Koeppen broadly categorized five major climatic groups; four of them are based on temperature and one on precipitation.

The following table describes the division of Koeppen’s climate −

Symbol Descriptions Characteristics
A Tropic Average temperature of the coldest month is 18° C or higher.
B Dry Climates Potential evaporation exceeds precipitation.
C Warm Temperate The average temperature of the coldest month of the (Mid-latitude) climates years is higher than minus 3°C but below 18°C.
D Cold Snow Forest Climates The average temperature of the coldest month is minus 3° C or below.
E Cold Climates Average temperature for all months is below 10° C.
H High Land Cold due to elevation.

The following table describes Koeppen’s World Climate Classification in details −

Group Type  Code Characteristics
A-Tropical Humid Climate Tropical wet Af No dry season
Tropical monsoon Am Monsoonal, short dry season
Tropical wet & dry Aw Winter dry season
B-Dry Climate Subtropical steppe BSh Low-latitude semi-arid or dry
Subtropical desert BWh Low-latitude arid or dry
Mid-latitude steppe BSk Mid-latitude semi-arid or dry
Mid-latitude desert BWk Mid-latitude arid or dry
C-Warm temperate (Midlatitude) Climates Humid subtropical Cfa No dry season, warm summer
Mediterranean Cs Dry hot summer
Marine west coast Cfb No dry season, warm and cool summer
D-Cold SnowForest Climates Humid continental Df No dry season, severe winter
Subarctic Dw Winter dry and very severe
E-Cold Climates Tundra ET No true summer
Polar ice cap EF Perennial ice
H-Highland Highland H Highland with snow cover

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