Climate is the average weather over many years.  For example, in Kansas
summers are usually hot and winters are cold.  However, we can all remember times when this is not true.
The basic climate zones of the world are shown on the map to the right.  There are three (3) basic
climate zones.     

  - Tropical zones - it is warm all year & closest to Equator

  - Temperate or Moderate Zones - are seasonal areas

  - Polar zones - coldest areas & farthest from Equator

There are four main influences on climate.  
~ Location or Latitude - the closer a region is to the Equator the warmer it is.  The farther away the colder it is.  See map above.  
Wind and Water - these can affect how the air temperature feels and water can act as a insulator to warm or cool land.
~ Ocean currents - can affect climate, like the Gulf Stream (North Atlantic Current) brings warm air and water to Europe.
~ Elevation - the higher it is, the colder it is.  That is why a mountain near the Equator can be snowcapped.