|IMPORTANT CLIMATOLOGICAL FACTORS
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
Climatology gives insights into the expected weather for a location. These following categories are important
to determining synoptic scale climatology:
3) Proximity to an ocean body
5) Prevailing wind
6) Ocean currents
7) Relative position to seasonal highs and lows.
Higher altitude locations tend
to have a lower freezing level. This can increase the likelihood of snow and hail reaching the surface.
determines how much thermal energy from the sun is available to a region. Lower latitudes have longer average
days and higher sun angles. For locations with similar elevations, latitude is the most important control to
the global temperature regime. When given the altitude and latitude, a climatologist
will have a good idea of the climatology of
the location from just those two values.
Locations near an ocean body have a more moderate climate than land-locked locations.
Near an ocean body, highs tend to be cooler and lows tend to be higher than an equivalent land-locked location.
Also near an ocean body, summer temperatures tend to be cooler and winter temperatures tend to be warmer than an
equivalent land-locked location.
Topography (sloped elevations and mountains) can influence how much precipitation a location receives. The
windward side of topographic regions has enhanced precipitation (especially if near a moisture source) and leeward
side regions have less precipitation.
The prevailing wind (defined as the most common wind direction at a location)
determines how much moisture and
thermal advection a location will receive. If
winds are usually from the south,
expect a warm climate (Northern Hemisphere). If winds are usually from the north, expect a cool climate (Northern
Hemisphere). A prevailing wind from a dry region will not support much precipitation.
The primary high and low pressure
belts help drive oceanic circulation. The west coasts of continents tend to have cooler temperatures (due to a pole
to equator ocean current) while the east coasts of continents tend to have warmer temperatures (due to an equator
to toward pole ocean current).
Semi-permanent high and low regions heavily influence climatology. Examples include
the Bermuda-Azores high and the Aleutian Low. These pressure belts drive oceanic circulation and the prevailing