Climate of the Caribbean Copy
Many persons often confuse the terms weather and climate. Weather is the day to day changes in the atmosphere and this can change many times within a single day. It can be sunny one minute and cloudy, windy or rainy the next minute.
Climate however, cannot be recorded on a daily basis. It is the average weather condition over a period of time. while we use words such as sunny, windy, cloudy or rainy to describe weather we have to use words such as tropical, hot, subtropical and tropical marine to describe climate.
The Caribbean area is located very near the Equator. It can be found between 10N and 25N of the Equator. As a result of its location, the Caribbean region tends to be hot all year round. In Jamaica, the average temperature is 26 degrees C. (C means Celsius).
What is temperature and what are some of the things that can affect it?
Temperature is the degree of heat or cold. The height of a place above sea level, known as altitude, can affect the temperature of a place The higher up one goes is the colder it gets. Mountains, for example the Blue Mountains and places within its range, tend to be very cold sometimes.
Winds from the land and the sea also influence the climate in the Caribbean. Caribbean climate is known as Tropical Marine because of the effect of the sea on the temperature. Look up the word “marine” in your dictionary and write down its meaning.
During the day, the sea is cooler than the land because the land heats up far more quickly than the water. When the land gets hot during the day, the air above it also gets hot. After a while the hot air rises and when this happens winds blow in from the sea to the land causing the land to get cool. This breeze is known as sea breeze. (Winds are named based on the direction from which they blow.)
At nights the sea is usually warmer than the land because the sea can hold its heat much longer. When the hot air over the sea rises at nights, the cooler air from the land blows over to take its place. This breeze is known as land breeze.
Winds also affect the climate of the Caribbean by helping to produce rainfall. The Caribbean region experiences two main types of rainfall. They are Relief Rainfall and Convectional Rainfall.