Köppen Climate Classification - Cwb - Dry-Winter Subtropical Highland Climate
Latitudes: Mostly, from the equator to the low 20° in both hemispheres. Occasionally, out to 40°.
Temperatures: Winters have a noticeable contrast to summers, but are more like spring than a traditional winter. Summers are mild due to cool ocean currents. Winters are milder than other climates in similar latitudes. 3-4 month frost period. Monthly average temps are below 72 °F (22 °C) but above freezing. At least one month’s average temp is below 64 °F (18 °C).
Precipitation: Winters dry. Summers can be very rainy.
Relevant geography: Mainly found in highlands inside tropics of Central America, South America, Africa, and Asia or areas in the subtropics.
USDA equivalent zones: 7-10
Strengths/challenges for plant life: Moderate temperatures and frequent rains may help plants grow, but may also allow diseases to take hold. UV intensity may be a challenge. Temperatures make winter growing possible, but a good water source must be available.
The dry-winter subtropical highland climate is found in the highlands within the tropics of Central America, South America, Africa, and Asia. It exists mostly within a band within 20° of the equator, in both hemispheres, though it can sometimes be found out to 40°.
The summers are mild and very rainy with a monthly average temperature below 72 °F (22 °C) but above freezing. At least one month has an average temperature below 64 °F (18 °C). The winters are dry and noticeably different from summers. However, they are more like spring than a traditional winter. This climate falls within the USDA plant hardiness zones 7-10.
Despite its low latitude, higher altitudes allow these regions to share climate characteristics with oceanic climates. If it were not for this elevation difference, these areas would be classified as either tropical or humid subtropical climates.
Though this climate exists in tropical regions, it may too cool for some tropical plants to grow. Temperate crops may be more suitable. Care should be taken to avoid allowing plants to become waterlogged. Pressure from fungal disease may also be higher here. Shade cloth may help to protect plants from the intense UV light of the equatorial sun.
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