Köppen climate classification

An updated Köppen–Geiger climate map[1]
  Af
  Am
  Aw/As
  BWh
  BWk
  BSh
  BSk
  Csa
  Csb
  Cwa
  Cwb
  Cwc
  Cfa
  Cfb
  Cfc
  Dsa
  Dsb
  Dsc
  Dsd
  Dwa
  Dwb
  Dwc
  Dwd
  Dfa
  Dfb
  Dfc
  Dfd
  ET
  EF

The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by the climatologist Wladimir Köppen (1846-1940) in 1884,[2][3] with several later modifications by Köppen, notably in 1918 and 1936.[4][5] Later, the climatologist Rudolf Geiger (1954, 1961) introduced some changes to the classification system, which is thus sometimes called the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system.[6][7]

The Köppen climate classification divides climates into five main climate groups, with each group being divided based on seasonal precipitation and temperature patterns. The five main groups are A (tropical), B (dry), C (temperate), D (continental), and E (polar). Each group and subgroup is represented by a letter. All climates are assigned a main group (the first letter). All climates except for those in the E group are assigned a seasonal precipitation subgroup (the second letter). For example, Af indicates a tropical rainforest climate. The system assigns a temperature subgroup for all groups other than those in the A group, indicated by the third letter for climates in B, C, and D, and the second letter for climates in E. For example, Cfb indicates an oceanic climate with warm summers as indicated by the ending b. Climates are classified based on specific criteria unique to each climate type.[8]

Köppen designed the system based on his experience as a botanist, so the main climate groups are based on the different variety of vegetation that grows in climates belonging to each group. In addition to identifying climates, the system can be used to analyze ecosystem conditions and identify the main types of vegetation within climates. Due to its link with the plant life of a region, the system is useful in predicting future changes in plant life within a region.

The Köppen climate classification system has been further modified, within the Trewartha climate classification system in the middle 1960s (revised in 1980). The Trewartha system sought to create a more refined middle latitude climate zone, which was one of the criticisms of the Köppen system (the C climate group was too broad).[9]:200–1

Meaning of symbols

Köppen climate classification scheme symbols description table[1]
1st 2nd 3rd
A (Tropical) f (Rainforest)
m (Monsoon)
w (Savanna, Wet)
s (Savanna, Dry)
B (Arid) W (Desert)
S (Steppe)
h (Hot)
k (Cold)
n (With frequent fog)[10]
C (Temperate) s (Dry summer)
w (Dry winter)
f (Without dry season)
a (Hot summer)
b (Warm summer)
c (Cold summer)
D (Cold (continental)) s (Dry summer)
w (Dry winter)
f (Without dry season)
a (Hot summer)
b (Warm summer)
c (Cold summer)
d (Very cold winter)
E (Polar) T (Tundra)
F (Eternal winter (ice cap))

The Köppen climate classification scheme divides climates into five main climate groups: A (tropical), B (dry), C (temperate), D (continental), and E (polar).[11] The second letter indicates the seasonal precipitation type, while the third letter indicates the level of heat.[12]

Group A: Tropical (megathermal) climates

This type of climate has every month of the year with an average temperature of 18 °C (64.4 °F) or higher, with significant precipitation.

  • Af = Tropical rainforest climate; average precipitation of at least 60 mm (2.4 in) in every month.
  • Am = Tropical monsoon climate; driest month (which nearly always occurs at or soon after the "winter" solstice for that side of the equator) with precipitation less than 60 mm (2.4 in), but more than 4% the total annual precipitation.
  • Aw or As = Tropical wet and dry or savanna climate; with the driest month having precipitation less than 60 mm (2.4 in) and less than 4% of the total annual precipitation.

Group B: Dry (arid and semiarid) climates

This type of climate is defined by little precipitation.

Multiply the average annual temperature in Celsius by 20, then add

(a) 280 if 70% or more of the total precipitation is in the spring and summer months (April–September in the Northern Hemisphere, or October–March in the Southern), or
(b) 140 if 30%–70% of the total precipitation is received during the spring and summer, or
(c) 0 if less than 30% of the total precipitation is received during the spring and summer.

If the annual precipitation is less than 50% of this threshold, the classification is BW (arid: desert climate); if it is in the range of 50%–100% of the threshold, the classification is BS (semi-arid: steppe climate).

A third letter can be included to indicate temperature. Originally, h signified low-latitude climate (average annual temperature above 18 °C (64.4 °F)) while k signified middle-latitude climate (average annual temperature below 18 °C), but the more common practice today, especially in the United States, is to use h to mean the coldest month has an average temperature above 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), with k denoting that at least one month's averages below 0 °C (or −3 °C (27 °F)). The n is used to denote a climate characterized by frequent fog.[10][13][14]

Group C: Temperate (mesothermal) climates

This type of climate has the coldest month averaging between 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)) and 18 °C (64.4 °F) and at least one month averaging above 10 °C (50 °F).

  • Cfa = Humid subtropical climate; coldest month averaging above 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), at least one month's average temperature above 22 °C (71.6 °F), and at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). No significant precipitation difference between seasons (neither abovementioned set of conditions fulfilled). No dry months in the summer.
  • Cfb = Temperate oceanic climate; coldest month averaging above 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), all months with average temperatures below 22 °C (71.6 °F), and at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). No significant precipitation difference between seasons (neither abovementioned set of conditions fulfilled).
  • Cfc = Subpolar oceanic climate; coldest month averaging above 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)) and 1–3 months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). No significant precipitation difference between seasons (neither abovementioned set of conditions fulfilled).
  • Cwa = Monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate; coldest month averaging above 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), at least one month's average temperature above 22 °C (71.6 °F), and at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least ten times as much rain in the wettest month of summer as in the driest month of winter (alternative definition is 70% or more of average annual precipitation is received in the warmest six months).
  • Cwb = Subtropical highland climate or Monsoon-influenced temperate oceanic climate; coldest month averaging above 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), all months with average temperatures below 22 °C (71.6 °F), and at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least ten times as much rain in the wettest month of summer as in the driest month of winter (an alternative definition is 70% or more of average annual precipitation received in the warmest six months).
  • Cwc = Cold subtropical highland climate or Monsoon-influenced subpolar oceanic climate; coldest month averaging above 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)) and 1–3 months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least ten times as much rain in the wettest month of summer as in the driest month of winter (alternative definition is 70% or more of average annual precipitation is received in the warmest six months).
  • Csa = Hot-summer Mediterranean climate; coldest month averaging above 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), at least one month's average temperature above 22 °C (71.6 °F), and at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least three times as much precipitation in the wettest month of winter as in the driest month of summer, and driest month of summer receives less than 30 mm (1.2 in).
  • Csb = Warm-summer Mediterranean climate; coldest month averaging above 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), all months with average temperatures below 22 °C (71.6 °F), and at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least three times as much precipitation in the wettest month of winter as in the driest month of summer, and driest month of summer receives less than 30 mm (1.2 in).
  • Csc = Cool-summer Mediterranean climate; coldest month averaging above 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)) and 1–3 months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least three times as much precipitation in the wettest month of winter as in the driest month of summer, and driest month of summer receives less than 30 mm (1.2 in).

Group D: Continental (microthermal) climates

This type of climate has at least one month averaging below 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)) and at least one month averaging above 10 °C (50 °F).

  • Dfa = Hot-summer humid continental climate; coldest month averaging below −0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), at least one month's average temperature above 22 °C (71.6 °F), and at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). No significant precipitation difference between seasons (neither abovementioned set of conditions fulfilled).
  • Dfb = Warm-summer humid continental climate; coldest month averaging below −0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), all months with average temperatures below 22 °C (71.6 °F), and at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). No significant precipitation difference between seasons (neither abovementioned set of conditions fulfilled).
  • Dfc = Subarctic climate; coldest month averaging below 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)) and 1–3 months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). No significant precipitation difference between seasons (neither abovementioned set of conditions fulfilled).
  • Dfd = Extremely cold subarctic climate; coldest month averaging below −38 °C (−36.4 °F) and 1–3 months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). No significant precipitation difference between seasons (neither abovementioned set of conditions fulfilled).
  • Dwa = Monsoon-influenced hot-summer humid continental climate; coldest month averaging below 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), at least one month's average temperature above 22 °C (71.6 °F), and at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least ten times as much rain in the wettest month of summer as in the driest month of winter (alternative definition is 70% or more of average annual precipitation is received in the warmest six months).
  • Dwb = Monsoon-influenced warm-summer humid continental climate; coldest month averaging below 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), all months with average temperatures below 22 °C (71.6 °F), and at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least ten times as much rain in the wettest month of summer as in the driest month of winter (alternative definition is 70% or more of average annual precipitation is received in the warmest six months).
  • Dwc = Monsoon-influenced subarctic climate; coldest month averaging below 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)) and 1–3 months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least ten times as much rain in the wettest month of summer as in the driest month of winter (alternative definition is 70% or more of average annual precipitation is received in the warmest six months).
  • Dwd = Monsoon-influenced extremely cold subarctic climate; coldest month averaging below −38 °C (−36.4 °F) and 1–3 months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least ten times as much rain in the wettest month of summer as in the driest month of winter (alternative definition is 70% or more of average annual precipitation is received in the warmest six months).
  • Dsa = Mediterranean-influenced hot-summer humid continental climate; coldest month averaging below 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), average temperature of the warmest month above 22 °C (71.6 °F) and at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least three times as much precipitation in the wettest month of winter as in the driest month of summer, and driest month of summer receives less than 30 mm (1.2 in).
  • Dsb = Mediterranean-influenced warm-summer humid continental climate; coldest month averaging below 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), average temperature of the warmest month below 22 °C (71.6 °F) and at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least three times as much precipitation in the wettest month of winter as in the driest month of summer, and driest month of summer receives less than 30 mm (1.2 in).
  • Dsc = subarctic climate; coldest month averaging below 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)) and 1–3 months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least three times as much precipitation in the wettest month of winter as in the driest month of summer, and driest month of summer receives less than 30 mm (1.2 in).
  • Dsd = extremely cold, subarctic climate; coldest month averaging below −38 °C (−36.4 °F) and 1–3 months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least three times as much precipitation in the wettest month of winter as in the driest month of summer, and driest month of summer receives less than 30 mm (1.2 in).

Group E: Polar and alpine (montane) climates

This type of climate has every month of the year with an average temperature below 10 °C (50 °F).

  • ET = Tundra climate; average temperature of warmest month between 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)) and 10 °C (50 °F).
  • EF = Ice cap climate; eternal winter, with all 12 months of the year with average temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)).
Other Languages
Bahasa Indonesia: Klasifikasi iklim Köppen
íslenska: Loftslagsbelti
עברית: שיטת קפן
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Köppenova klasifikacija klime