A Mediterranean climate is characterized by rainy winters and dry summers. This climatic region is normally located on the western coasts of continents, roughly between 30 and 45 degrees north and south of the equator and often with westerly prevailing winds. It is usually bordered by oceanic climates towards the poles, and semi-arid to arid conditions towards the equator. Because of this, Mediterranean climates are an intermediate between arid and oceanic climate zones, with winters similar to those in oceanic climates (but with a higher number of sunny days), and summers similar to those in arid areas. Oak woodlands and grasslands are commonly found in this climate region.

Under the Koppen climate classification system, a mediterranean or dry-summer climate (Cs) has an average temperature above 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), but below 18 °C (64 °F), in their coolest months. Both hot-dry summer and cold-dry summer climates are classified as Mediterranean, with hot-dry summer climates having an average temperature in the warmest month above 22° C, and cold-dry summer climates having an average temperatures below 22° C in the warmest month. Precipitation can range from 35 to 90 cm but is highly variable, with less rainfall occurring at more inland sites.

This climate region is present in most of California in the United States, parts of western and south Australia, parts of South Africa, Western and Central Asia, and Central Chile.


Mediterranean  Photo by Luca Dugaro On

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Peel, Murray C., Brian L. Finlayson, and Thomas A. McMahon. "Updated world map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification." Hydrology and earth system sciences discussions 4.2 (2007): 439-473.

University of California, M. R. (n.d.). Mediterranean Climate. Retrieved August 28, 2018, from