Humid Continental Climates


These climates have an average temperature above 10° C (50° F) in their warmest months, and a coldest month average below −3° C (−26° F). These usually occur in the interiors of continents and on their east coasts, normally poleward of 40°. Precipitation (with thunderstorms) is evenly distributed throughout the year, snow cover often being deep. Summers are warm to hot, and often humid. Winters are cold, sometimes severely. Forests thrive in this climate, including evergreen and conifers, as do grasslands. Oak, fir, spruce, and pine do well in wetter areas and the fall foliage is noteworthy.

From a world building standpoint, the subtypes below offer little in the way of things we need to consider. That a summer is hot in one latitude vs warm in another is of little importance, but they are mentioned for reference.

Hot Summer Continental

This usually occurs in the high 40° and low 50° latitudes, with an average temperature in the warmest month of greater than 22° C/72° F. This includes southeast Canada, some parts of the western United States (such as Utah, Montana, and Wyoming), and Serbia.

Warm Summer Continental

This climate is immediately north of hot summer continental climates, generally between 45° and 58° latitude in North America and Asia, and in central and eastern Europe and Russia, between the maritime temperate and continental subarctic climates, where it extends up to 65° latitude.

Continental Subarctic

Climates occur poleward of the other continental climates, mostly in the 50° and low 60° latitude, although it might occur as far as 70°.

Continental Subarctic Climates with Extremely Severe Winters

Places with this climate have the temperature in their coldest month lower than −38° C (−36° F). These climates occur only in eastern Siberia. The names of some of the places with this climate have become veritable synonyms for extreme, severe winter.