The USA is a land of physical contrasts, including the weather. The southern parts of Florida, Texas, California, and the entire state of Hawaii, have warm temperatures year round; most of the United States is in the temperate zone with four distinct seasons and varying numbers of hot and cold days each season, while the northern tier of states and Alaska have extremely cold winters. The United States has many kinds of climates. The weather ranges from the warm, wet conditions of the Appalachian Highland to the desert conditions of some of the western states. It varies from almost winterless climates in southern Arizona and southern Florida to long, very cold winters in the Dakotas and Montana.
The climate along the northern part of the Atlantic coast is similar to that of England. But in the north central part of the country, summer and winter are worlds apart. There the average difference between July and January is 36 degrees centigrade and more violent extremes are common. The coldest days of a typical January may be 40 degrees centigrade, and the hottest July day may be 45 degrees. This is the sort of climate that is also found in central Asia, far from the moderating influence of the oceans. In the eastern part of the United States, the difference between summer and winter is also very distinct, but not nearly so extreme.
The variations in temperature within the United States have had a marked effect on the country's economy and living standards. There is a long crop-growing season along the south - but in the north it last as long as three months.
West of the Rocky Mountains, running all the way from the Canadian border to Mexico, there are vast areas where almost no trees grow. In this section of the country are the deserts which receive as little as 12.7 centimeters of rainfall a year. Yet, west of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, there are places in which 250 centimeters of rain falls annually.
Although the state of Hawaii is located in the tropical zone, its climate is comfortable because of the ocean currents that pass its shores and the winds that blow across the land from the northeast. The temperature usually remains close to the annual average of 24 degrees centigrade.
Date: 2015-01-02; view: 929