Definitions

tropical zone

Tropical savanna climate

Tropical savanna climate or tropical wet and dry climate is a type of climate that corresponds to the categories Aw and As of the Köppen climate classification. These climates have monthly mean temperature above 18º C in every month of the year and a pronounced dry season, with the driest month having precipitation less than 60 mm and also less than (100 − [total annual precipitation {mm}/25]). Most places that have this climate are found at the outer margins of the tropical zone, but occasionally an inner-tropical location (e.g., San Marcos, Antioquia, Colombia) also qualifies. Actually, the Caribbean coast, eastward from the Gulf of Urabá on the ColombiaPanamá border to the Orinoco river delta, on the Atlantic ocean (ca. 4,000 km), have long dry periods (the extreme is the BSh climate (see below), characterised by very low, unreliable precipitation, present, for instance, in extensive areas in the Guajira, and Coro, western Venezuela, the northernmost peninsulas in South America, which receive <300 mm total annual precipitation, practically all in two or three months). This condition extends to the Lesser Antilles and Greater Antilles forming the Circumcaribbean dry belt. The length and severity of the dry season diminishes inland (southward); at the latitude of the Amazon river — which flows eastward, just south of the equatorial line — the climate is Af. East from the Andes, between the dry, arid Caribbean and the ever-wet Amazon are the Orinoco river' llanos or savannas, from where this climate takes its name. Sometimes As is used in place of Aw if the dry season occurs during the time of higher sun and longer days. This is the case in parts of Hawaii (Honolulu), East Africa (Mombasa, Kenya) and Sri Lanka (Trincomalee), for instance. In most places that have tropical wet and dry climates, however, the dry season occurs during the time of lower sun and shorter days because of rainshadow effects during the 'high-sun' part of the year.

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