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Subtropical climate according to Troll and Paffen
LA Echo
Echo Park in Los Angeles, United States (North America)
Barcelona 202
Park Güell in Barcelona in Spain, European Union (Europe)
Upper Barracca Gardens in Malta, European Union (centrally in the Mediterranean Sea, between Europe, Africa and Asia)
View of Agia Napa beach located in vicinity of Nelia Beach Hotel
Agia Napa in Cyprus, European Union (Western Asia)
Royal Palm Trees in Daan Park East Part
Daan Park in Taipei, Taiwan (East Asia)
Parc de la Ligue Arabe, Casablanca
Parc de la Ligue Arabe in Casablanca, Morocco (Africa)
City Botanical Garden in Brisbane, Australia

The subtropics are the geographical and climatical zone of the Earth immediately north and south of the tropical zone, which is bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, at latitudes 23.5°N and 23.5°S. The term "subtropical" describes the climatic region found adjacent to the tropics, usually between 20 and 40 degrees of latitude in both hemispheres.


According to climatologist Glenn G. Trewartha, a subtropical region should have at least eight months with a mean temperature of 10 °C (50.0 °F) or above. His revision of Köppen climate classification assigns to such areas the letter C, while others zones encompassed in the original Köppen group C class would be considered part of group.

American climatologist John F. Griffiths in his book Applied climatology described the subtropical zone as having a coldest month of between 6 °C (42.8 °F) and 18 °C (64.4 °F) and assigning to this group the letter B, while the original B group of Köppen taxonomy would be spread over the various temperature-based groups.

German climatologists Carl Troll and Karlheinz Paffen defined warmgemäßigte Zonen ("Warm temperate zones") plain and hilly lands having an average temperature of the coldest month between 2 °C (35.6 °F) and 13 °C (55.4 °F) in Northern Hemisphere and between 6 °C (42.8 °F) and 13 °C (55.4 °F) in Southern Hemisphere, excluding oceanic and continental climates.


In subtropical climates the winters are relatively warm, but not as hot as the summer season. These climates rarely—if ever—see frost or snow, and plants such as palm, citrus and many broadleaf evergreens flourish, in contrast to the hardier deciduous and coniferous trees which dominate midlatitude climates. As one moves toward the tropical side the slight winter cool season disappears altogether, while at the poleward threshold of the subtropics the winters become much cooler.

Rainfall patterns vary widely throughout the subtropics including hot deserts, savannas, monsoon forests, humid forests and the warmer parts of the Mediterranean climate zone. Subtropical regions include most of California and southern Europe (Mediterranean or dry-summer subtropical climate), the low deserts of the Southwest USA (hot arid type), the Gulf Coast and most of Florida (humid subtropical climate), northern India (monsoon), southeast China (humid), the middle part of South America (varied), much of Australia (varied) and coastal South Africa. Even the Isles of Scilly meet both requirements— 6 °C (42.8 °F) average in the coldest month and eight months with the average above 10 °C (50.0 °F) . Plymouth in Devon just meets the John F. Griffiths' requirement for a subtropical climate — average 3 °C (37.4 °F) min and 9 °C (48.2 °F) max in the coldest month.

Subtropical areas

Examples of subtropical cities and areas around the world include (see map above for more details):

In Africa
In The Americas
In Eurasia
In Oceania

Subtropical flora

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Clima subtropical para niños

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