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.      

  - Tropical zones - areas where it is warm year-round; closest to Equator
  - Temperate or Moderate Zones - 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.