Humid Continental

Defined as the snow zone under the KÓ§ppen classification system, humid continental climates are defined as having temperatures less than 0 °C (or -3 °C in the snow zone) during winter and at least 4 months with temperatures ≥10° C during summer.1-2 As global temperatures rise due to anthropogenic climate change, regions previously considered subarctic or tundra will shift to a humid continental climate.3 Most land areas that have a humid continental climate are in the northern hemisphere, typically between 40° and 60° latitude.1-2 Areas with this climate are typically wooded, often with cold adapted trees such as oaks and maples. High rainfall associated with this climate often leads to the formation of relatively weathered soils rich in iron and aluminum oxides. The sub 0 °C winter weather allows for the build up of soil organic matter leading to the formation of soils rich in organic matter. This climate can be found in The United States of America, Canada, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, China, South Korea, Japan, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, and in isolated areas of Argentina, Chile, and New Zealand.2


Humid Continental Photo by Isaac Wendland On

Soil Health Challenges for Humid Continental Climates


1. Pidwirny, M.; Jones, S. Climate classification and climatic regions of the world. (accessed 8/26/2018).
2. Kottek, M.; Grieser, J.; Beck, C.; Rudolf, B.; Rubel, F., World map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated. Meteorologische Zeitschrift 2006, 15 (3), 259-263.
3. Rubel, F.; Kottek, M., Observed and projected climate shifts 1901–2100 depicted by world maps of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification. Meteorologische Zeitschrift 2010, 19 (2), 135-141.