Köppen Climate Classification Dwa - Hot Summer Continental Climate – Dry Winter

Ruth Ann Reyes
Ruth Ann Reyes Posts: 576 admin

As @Marjory Wildcraft mentioned in this post ... We are working on Köppen Climate Classifications for our "Your Place On Earth" project.

Your input is valuable to us and we'd love to hear what you think. Also, feel free to help us edit if need be.

I'll post them up weekly and link them in the thread mentioned above!

Thanks, Ruth


Dwa - Hot Summer Continental Climate – Dry Winter

Latitudes: Usually high 30s and low 40s latitudes.

Temperatures: High temps in the warmest month tend to be in the 80s or low 90s °F (high 20s or low 30s °C). Average coldest month temp near or well below freezing. Frost-free periods normally last 4-7 months.

Precipitation: Precipitation varies. Winters are dry.

Relevant geography: Only exists in the northern hemisphere.

USDA equivalent zones: 4-7

Soil: Usually acidic. Suitable for agriculture.

Dominant plant life of the region: Forests thrive here - deciduous and evergreen. Grasslands. Fall foliage is noted during autumn.

Strengths/challenges for plant life: Soil and climate are suitable for a wide variety of plants. 

Garden plants that are a good fit for this region: Most conventional garden plants can be grown in this region. Some heat-loving plants, like tomatoes, may require heat-retaining strategies, like mulch.

Dominant animal life (or its features): This region supports a wide range of animal life. Some species may migrate or hibernate during the winter.

Challenges for animal raising: Environmental pressures as not extreme. Breeds with a moderate amount of heat and cold tolerance are well prepared.

Animals that are a good fit for this region: Most conventional farm animals are suitable for this region: Cows, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, rabbits, etc.


Congratulations. You live in a climate that is very favorable to growing your own food. The hot summer continental climate can support a wide variety of popular garden plants and farm animals. 

Your version of the hot summer continental climate resides within USDA plant hardiness zones 4-7.

This climate type only exists in the northern hemisphere within a fairly narrow band, between the high 30s to low 40s in latitude. The southern hemisphere just doesn’t have the landmasses needed at the correct latitudes to create it. 

Your winters are dry. The driest winter month will have one-tenth the precipitation as the wettest summer month. Summers may be very wet if your location is influenced by monsoons.

Your summer highs will be in the 80s to low 90s °F (or the high 20s to low 30s °C), but cold waves are not unheard of. The average temperature in your coldest month may be near freezing, or well below freezing. You can usually count on between 4-7 frost-free months each year to grow your plants.

The dominant wild plant life consists of temperate woodlands (both deciduous and evergreen) and temperate grasslands. In wetter areas, you may find maple, spruce, pine, fir, and oaks. Fall colors may be quite pleasant.

Your soils tend to be acidic, but are suitable for growing a wide range of plants. Some heat-loving plants, like tomatoes, may require heat-retaining strategies, such as mulch. Cold sensitive perennials can either be grown as annuals or brought in for winter. Select long day or day-neutral plants, where possible. Short-day plants will likely not produce correctly in your region.

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Don’t forget that a climate favorable to garden plants is also favorable to garden pests. Your climate is so hospitable that the slugs, beetles, and caterpillars will feel right at home moving in.

As with the plants, your climate will support basically all of the conventional farm animals. Go ahead and get some cows, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, or rabbits. Just match the animal with your local topography. Ducks like ponds. Goats are good in rocky, hilly areas. Chickens will find ways to get eaten by every predator available.