Southern California Geography And Climate History Essay

3317 words (13 pages) Essay in History

5/12/16 History Reference this

Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. You can view samples of our professional work here.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.

California is on the west coast of the United States. It extends along the Pacific Ocean nearly 900 miles (1400 km) from the Mexican border in the south to the border with Oregon in the north. This state has approximately 200 miles (300 km) wide from its beaches in the west to the eastern deserts, bordering the states of Nevada and Arizona. With Longitude of 114° 8′ W to 124° 24′ W and Latitude of 32° 30′ N to 42° N. Southern California has a number of unique geological phenomena, ranging from north to south for almost the entire length of the state. They create a variety of landscapes and climates that make it a great place to visit.

The California seaboard area expanding from the supple tropical beaches San Diego, beside the boundary with Mexico, to the rocky coasts beside Oregon. In the south state, moderately hot Pacific waters and the well renowned California surf appeal numerous visitors who arrive to relish attractive sandy coastlines supplied with the shadow of palm trees. As it journeys northward, the seaboard area is more attractive, but the waters become chilly and sandy coastlines are progressively rare. The seaboard hills expanding in a string of connections to the west over the state are seen. These reduced volcanic peaks pattern a shielding barricade that defends the hinterland for much of the influence of the Pacific Ocean climate. In some locations, the hill varieties are a couple of miles from the seaboard area, forming steps have been constructed seaboard towns like Los Angeles and San Diego. In the Big Sur, south of Monterey, the hills plunge into the sea, forming stunning seaboard scenery (Schoenherr, pp. 12).

The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range forms a wall of snowy peaks, with a north-south, 400 miles long and 100 miles east of the Pacific coast. Much of this mountainous area is preserved as a nature reserve with few roads and limited access. A narrow strip of California, east of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, is an extremely dry desert without any rain, with mountains that do not receive any water and completely dry valleys. This is the beginning of Valley County and Mountain Range that extends to the state of Nevada. The largest city in California is the multi-ethnic metropolis of Los Angeles, home of Hollywood movie stars, business moguls, Californian surfers and four million people. It is actually a conglomerate of dozens of communities that have merged, forming the largest city in the U.S. west coast. From the tropical beaches and cosmopolitan shopping malls is just a few hours’ drive of the great forests of the Sierra Nevada giant sequoia or the golf season lasts all year, always under the blue skies of Palm Desert Spring.

Climate of Southern California

California climate varies significantly from place to place. Basically, it’s semi-tropical along the southern coast with arid deserts in most of southern and eastern extremities. In Southern California you can lie on the warm sandy beach, traveling in his car to the top of a mountain and snow skiing or travel to the intense desert heat, all in the same day. The temperature is pleasant throughout the year in most of the coast. The Pacific Ocean breezes moderate the summer heat and keep the winters mild. Expect temperatures around 30°C (80°F) during the summer and then falls to 15°C (60°F) during winter. San Francisco , and upstate, usually has a little colder temperature. The higher travel, especially in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, you can find very cold climates with abundant snowfall that grow to 15 m (40 ft) deep. The desert is intensely hot during the summer with temperatures often rise beyond the 40°C (120°F). Become a little more bearable during the winter months when temperatures fall to no more than the 20°C (70 F).

Because of the vastness of Californian state, the climate varies everywhere there in. San Francisco is experiencing low temperature differences from one season to another and a good general sunshine from April to September. There are frequent rains in the winter. However, morning fog prevails throughout the year. In the Rockies, the climate is continental (cold winters, warm summers) while the climate of southern California is Mediterranean (mild winters and hot dry summers). Note that the sea temperature barely reaches 19°C in the heart of summer in Los Angeles and 16°C in San Francisco. The north-east of LA is desert and is also best to visit Death Valley in the fall or spring because the summer is hot. In the spring, for example, temperatures are very variable, unpredictable and can be downright cold. The California desert is very hot in summer the mercury can easily reach 38 ° C and above. Spring lends them a visit, because the air is cooler and the wildflowers are in full bloom. The mountains found there are cold in winter, cool in spring and autumn, and surprisingly warm in summer. The rainfall is less abundant than on the coast, but the high spots receive enough snow to make them very popular ski resorts during the winter season (McWilliams, pp. 10).

In Southern California, temperatures differ sometimes 22°C to 23°C between the beaches and mountains, while in the desert, mercury can acknowledge as significant fluctuations in a single point and in a day of 21°C up give way to a night in freezing. Along the Pacific coastal plains, where the majority of visitors are changing the climate of California, it is like that of the Mediterranean, where temperatures remain mild throughout the year. Through the fog that regularly invade the coast, contributing to its natural isolation and its air, the mercury seldom drops below the mark of 4°C and do not climb much beyond 27°C. September and October are the warmest months and December and January the coldest. In Los Angeles, the average temperature is 24°C in hot season and 10°C in midwinter.

Spring, and perhaps even fall, the seasons that are best suited to a visit for California. The winter, which extends from November to March, can be quite rainy, the strongest showers occurring between December and February, but the rest of the year is virtually free of precipitation. In summer, it goes without saying, is the season that attracts the most tourists, and the marked increase in local population may then cause problems. Like the spring, summer often sees rising fog in the morning and evening the fog forming off the coast to sweep so does dissipate until the middle of the day. Most winter storms from the north, so the average rainfall and the duration of the rainy season decreases gradually as we proceeded toward the south. Santa Barbara and receives 432 mm of rain per year, Los Angeles and San Diego 381 mm to 254 mm only (Knox, pp. 18).

The ocean air is also quite full of moisture, now average around 65% and making some areas apparently colder than the thermometer seems to indicate. In August and September the fog is most dense. Then, come fall, the Santa Ana winds begin to blow from the desert. It is hot and dry winds from the northeast up to 55 to 80 km/h, carrying sand, fueling wildfires and making people more nervous than usual. The climate in Southern California varies from Mediterranean climate to the climate of semi-polar. Climate is similar to the bulk of the state climate of the Mediterranean, where winter cold and rainy summer, dry. Current of cold air coming to California from abroad often creates summer fog near the coast. The deeper inside, the more it has colder winters and hotter summers.

Average annual rainfall in the northern parts of the state is higher than the southern parts. Affect mountain ranges in the state of California on the climate as well: the area’s most abundant in the rain in the state is facing the west slopes of the mountain. The East Valley has a Mediterranean climate but with an increase in extreme temperatures from the coast. The high mountains, including the Sierra Nevada, has climate to the extreme with snow over it in winters and temperatures mild to moderate in the summer. While moving into the territory of the climate, it becomes more continental, with a large spread of temperatures in winter and summer. Western winds bring moisture from the ocean, and therefore the northern part of the state receives more rainfall than the south. The climate is also influenced by the mountains, which do not miss the moist air from the ocean far inland (Heinrichs, pp. 9).

Down on the eastern side of the mountains of California drizzling, the region becomes a desert area. The Desert present are among the highest in eastern California to the hot summer and cold winter, while the low deserts east of the mountains of Southern California, offered for a hot summer and mild winter almost without a frosting. There is the valley of death , desert with large areas below sea level, the hottest place in North America , and has recorded its highest temperature in the western hemisphere , on July 10, 1913. Most parts of the state of climate are Mediterranean, with rainy winters and dry summers. The influence of the ocean reduces the spread of the temperature leading to a cool summer and warm winter. Because of the cold ocean currents along the California coast it is often foggy.

The Californian winter is not severe. Moreover, summer is more suffocating than spring, as shown in the average maximum temperatures, which is located at 23 ° C in July. The seasons are much more pronounced in the inland valleys, which form a sort of sub-climatic zone. Wine Country (the kingdom of vineyards), the Delta and the Gold Country (the land of gold), summer temperatures often exceed 32 ° C. There is less humidity, the winters are cooler and higher altitude regions are occasionally even snow. Like the coast, the Piedmont region recorded the most of its precipitation during the winter season. Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains for their part know the most important climatic differences. In summer the days are warm and nights cool. Spring and fall temperatures bring stinging foliage and even changes color (a phenomenon that the coast, consistent with its seasons, as it completely ignores) (Flohn, pp. 19).

Geography of Southern California

It is a tectonic region, with unstable seismic phenomena in numerous amounts. The San Andreas Fault, fracture of the crust, across the Pacific Ocean and travels the state, between the Gulf of California and north of San Francisco. This city holds the sad record of earthquakes. The most famous is dramatically than 1906: the fire caused by the earthquake has destroyed four fifths of the city. The Coast Ranges, ridges, valleys and small rivers also draw the landscape of California. Over a length of 800 km and a width ranging from 80 to 120 km, the coastal ranges (rich in silver, nonferrous metals, oil and hydroelectric potential) are divided to make way for the San Francisco Bay. Central Valley (Central Valley), which extends from the coastal ranges of the west to the Sierra Nevada to the east, is bounded on the north by the Sacramento River and south by the San Joaquin River. This vast valley is one of the richest agricultural areas and varied country. East of the Central Valley, Sierra Nevada (“snowy range” in Spanish) offers magnificent canyons formed by erosion. Walking in the national parks of Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, we take these granitic landscapes. Further south stretches a belt of deserts from California to New Mexico, with forests of cactus near the Mexican border. The driest desert is the famous Death Valley (Death Valley). Here at Bad water, lies the lowest point of the United States (86 m below sea level). Finally, peaking at over 1000 m altitude, the Mojave Desert is the most irrigated and above (Fairbanks, pp. 28).

Asia and its climate

The weather of the countries is as diverse as its exterior configuration, extending from equatorial rainforest to Arctic tundra. For the most part, the north part of Asia is overridden by the action of continental polar air masses, which going from western Siberia to the North Pacific. The winters are long and rough, summers are short and freezing and the yearly precipitation is light. An identical air is usual of the Tibetan Plateau and other uplands. The central districts have middle-latitude wasteland weather or semiarid, with freezing winters and moderately hot summers and moderately hot, the mean yearly rainfall is less than 230 mm.

However, the south and to the east finishes of the countries is distinguished by monsoon winds, which assault in from the freezing winter central south and east, and in summer from the sea, heading north to the warmer lands. Most of the margins of Asia have a dry winter, extending from cooling to freezing, and a warm summer and humid, with hefty concentrations of rainfall in the summer months (Carle, pp. 69).

Although the term monsoon is directed to all climates of to the east and south Asia, the factual monsoon is attribute only of a part of the Indian subcontinent and Myanmar in these localities mean yearly rainfall passes 2,000 mm. In locations where topographic components are engaged (i.e., the reality of mountains), it is probable that the winter is damp, as in the seaboard localities of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and components of south India. The seaboard localities of Southeast Asia furthermore subject to destructive typhoons, which begin in the north South China Sea and the western Pacific.

Europe and its climate

Europe’s climate is determined by the position of Europe on the globe, between the latitudes of the northern mid and high and the western facade of the Eurasian continent. This has an effect on the air masses and polar continental, but also the maritime tropical air masses, and only occasionally continental tropical. The constant presence of maritime air masses from Europe makes it stable and pleasant (Bossak, pp. 1).

The territory is within the centers of action of the polar front, which through the storm of Iceland and the jet stream channels into the maritime polar. The air masses which arrive in Europe, is from the anticyclone Siberian winter settles in on Siberia and channels the continental polar air masses, and the Azores anticyclone, which channels the maritime tropical air masses. These are the main action centers, but there are also secondary and seasonal ones as well, that channel or arctic air mass continental tropical. In the central regions appears cyclone heat in winter, and in certain regions of the Mediterranean. In many regions, as in Spain, the relief is crucial in defining the climate, without changing the typical values ​​of zonal climate, make it much more extreme, giving a high degree of being a continent.

There are four major climates in Europe, the Mediterranean climate , the maritime climate of the west coast , the dry climate of the mid-latitudes, and the humid continental climate , but also found in northern regions, the climate of the boreal forest and tundra climate . But in Europe, everything is of particular importance due to the mountainous region (Bailey, pp. 7).

Overseas Europe lies mainly in the temperate climate zone. The annual radiation balance is positive: 10 Kcal/cm2 in northern Scandinavia to 60 Kcal/cm2 in the south to the Mediterranean. Because of the proximity of the Atlantic in a westerly flow dominates the sea air. To the east, penetrates the continental air mass. The northern regions are subject to incursions of arctic air that winter breaks to the Alps and the Pyrenees. Differences in physical properties of air masses determine the formation of fronts. Of cyclonic activity on the fronts depends largely on rainfall. In January, the main path of the polar front cyclones passes over northern British islands, south of Scandinavia, the Baltic and the Mediterranean Sea.

The Mediterranean climate is most suited as its exact description. It cannot be characterized as a different characteristic. It occurs on the banks of the Mediterranean and the plains and mountain slopes that plunge into the inland sea. The general features are the mild winter (8.4 ° C in Nice, 8.2 to Athens in January) and summer heat (27 ° C in Athens in July). Another feature of this climate is the importance of winds that blow from land to sea.

Southern California in comparison to Asia and Europe

It covers the coasts of Europe and the Black Sea coast, from California, southern Australia and central Chile. Summers are hot and the air is dry and rainfall is scarce. During the cold season, there are rains and even snow precipitation. This phenomenon is due to summer anticyclones that move and make the weather, heat and little rainfall, while in winter depression descended from higher latitudes.

Europe has too few mountain ranges (e.g. The Alps, the Pyrenees, the Urals), which plays an important role in the European climate. The mountains form a sort of barrier of climatic types, e.g. the Pyrenees, which separate the Mediterranean climate of ocean climate. The mountains are more or less their own climate, which is less temperate and relatively dry due to the altitude. Whereas, there is a wide range of mountains found in the Southern California passing through the mid of the central region. This climate is dependent on Asian influences. It is particularly hard and scored well in Russia, which causes severe cold (-11 ° C in January). The temperature range is very high (18 in Moscow in July) and the exceptional peaks are much more pronounced (-40 ° C and 35 ° C in Moscow). This is the most striking case of this climate in Europe. If it moves gradually towards the west, while the amplitude decreases heat to other climate types. Regarding precipitation, they are not abundant (500 mm per year). Europe is subject to many types of weather for a continent rather so small. Preferably, the oceanic climate prevails in Western Europe because of the amount of seas around the continent. Thus, the temperate European climate is often influenced by moist air masses. However, in the South and East Asia, rainfall is either less concentrated in the summer, or evenly distributed throughout the year (Bailey, pp. 23).

Much of Southeast Asia experiences flow of maritime air from the western Pacific in the form of a monsoon effect. In relation to how the rainfall and precipitation works in the southern Californian region is how the sea breeze affects the land and brings the Western winds. This moisture makes the air humid and thus causes less rainfall. Southern Europe is influenced by tropical masses in the summer they can penetrate to the south of Scandinavia. Atmospheric circulation in Europe in winter is determined by the Iceland minimum located in the North Atlantic, and Siberian peak, giving a spur to the side Abroad Europe. High pressure is characteristic of the Arctic.

Work Cited

Bailey, Harry. “The Climate of Southern California”, University of California Press. 1966. pp. 23-58.

Bailey, Harry. “Weather of Southern California”, University of California press. 1966. pp. 7-56.

Bossak, Brian. “Weather and Climate Controls”, Encyclopedia of Geography. 2010. SAGE Publications. pp. 1-3

Carle, David. “Introduction to Earth, Soil, and Land in California”, University of California Press. 2010. pp. 69-80.

Fairbanks, Harold. “The geography of California”, Harr-Wagner Publishing Co. 1911. pp. 28-85.

Flohn, Hermann. “The Climate of Europe, past, present, and future”, D. Reidel Publishing Company. 1984. pp. 19-25.

Heinrichs, Ann. “California”, Compass Point Books. 2003. pp. 9-113.

Knox, Joseph. “Global climate change and California: potential impacts and responses”, University of California Press. 1991. pp. 18-61.

McWilliams, Carey. “Southern California: an island on the land”, Gibbs Smith Publishers. 1973. pp. 10-13.

Schoenherr, Allan. “A Natural History of California”, University of California Press. 1992. pp. 12-34.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please.

McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams Prices from

Undergraduate 2:2 • 250 words • 7 day delivery

Order now

Delivered on-time or your money back

Rated 4.6 out of 5 by Logo (70 Reviews)
Untitled Document

Special Offers