Köppen Climate Classification - Am - Tropical Monsoon Climate

Am - Tropical Monsoon Climate


Latitudes: Mainly between 5° to 30° latitudes.


Temperatures: Every month’s average temp is 18 °C (64.4 °F) or higher. Highest temps before rainy season.


Precipitation: Eighty percent of the yearly rainfall occurs in 3 very wet months. The driest month usually comes soon after the winter solstice (for your side of the equator). The driest month has less than 60 mm (2.4 in) of precipitation.


Relevant geography: Mainly found in the Southern and South-Eastern part of Asia. Present in west and central Africa, south and southeast Asia, South America, and Central America. Also occurs in parts of North America, northern Australia, and the Caribbean.


USDA equivalent zones: Ranging from 9-13


Soil: Heavy rains cause enormous loss of rich fertile soils and accelerate erosion.


Dominant plant life of the region: Forest vegetation with less diversity than tropical rainforest. Thorn forests in drier areas.


Strengths/challenges for plant life: Plants must be able to cope with both excessively wet and dry conditions. These soils are rapidly leached of nutrients and exhausted. Heat and humidity makes an ideal environment for fungal attacks during wet season.


Garden plants that are a good fit for this region: Rice, sugar-cane, yams, tapioca, sweet potatoes. Tropical fruits, such as guava and mango. Neem. In dryer/cooler areas - maize, millet, sorghum, wheat, chick pea, and beans.


Animal Life: Highly diverse. Lion, tiger, pig, deer, and elephant. Many species of birds, reptiles, and insects.


Challenges for animal raising: Dry and wet extremes. Cold-loving animals will not thrive here.


Animals that are a good fit for this region: Warm weather breeds of cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, and chickens can all be raised here.


Notes: The main controlling factor for this climate is the seasonal change in wind direction.



The tropical monsoon climate has extremes of wet and dry, yet the tropical heat and plentiful sunlight make it possible to grow a wide variety of plants.


Your climate can be found in the southern and southeastern parts of Asia, west and central Africa, South America, and Central America. It also pops up in parts of North America, northern Australia, and the Carribean.


Usually found just outside of the equator, from 5° to 30° latitudes, you can expect your environment to be warm the whole year round. No months have an average temperature below 18 °C (64.4 °F), and your highest temperatures come just prior to the rainy season. Your rating on the USDA plant hardiness zones can range from 9-13.


You are too close to the equator to have a well defined spring, summer, fall, and winter. Rather, your year is best split up into the wet and dry seasons. This is caused by the seasonal change in wind direction.


Eighty percent of your annual rainfall occurs within 3 very wet months, with your driest month usually coming right after the winter solstice. All that rain causes a lot of soil fertility to be washed away and accelerates erosion.


Plant Life & Gardening

The land likes to produce lots of forest vegetation, but has fewer total species than tropical rainforests. In drier areas, it may also produce thorn forests. Most of the trees are deciduous, losing their leaves in the dry season to stop water loss. Other trees may have small, hard leaves that prevent excess transpiration during drought. Trees also have long roots to reach ground water during the dry season. You may find teak, rosewood, sal, bamboo, mango, mahua, jamun, neem, and shish trees around you.


You have some challenge in growing food here. Plants need to be able to cope with excesses of wet and dry. And you will need to continually build your soils up to counter erosion and nutrient loss during the wet season. The wet season will also bring pressure from fungal attacks. Plants vulnerable to fungal attack will have great difficulty here.


Some of the plants grown in this climate region include rice, sugarcane, yams, tapioca, sweet potatoes, and chick peas. You may also have success with beans. You can grow a number of tropical fruits such as mangos and guava. Several members of the grass family can be cultivated in drier regions. Among these are maize, millet, sorghum, and wheat.


Animal Life & Livestock

Animal life within the tropical monsoon climate is highly diverse, containing many species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. Local species will vary, but you may share your region with lions, tigers, deer, pigs, or elephants.


The animals in this region are well adapted for hot weather and extremes of dry and wet weather. Any animals raised here will need to have similar hardiness, though you can hopefully provide supplemental water for your animals during the dry season. Cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, and chickens can all be raised in your climate. Select heat-tolerant breeds. Cold-loving animals will have great difficulty here.


Guinea fowl are less well-known than chickens, but excellent birds for this region. Like chickens, they can be raised for meat and eggs, but they are better adapted to this climate than most chicken breeds and are naturally wary of predators.