Tropical Wet and Dry Climate Type
(all measurement in Fahrenheit and inches... sorry rest of the world)
Where is it Usually Located?
Tropical Wet/Dry is found near the equator, usually on the outer edges of Tropical Wet climate areas. The largest areas of Tropical Wet/Dry are found in Africa, Brazil, and India.
What Seasons Does it Have?
There are only 2 seasons: wet season (summer) and dry season (winter). Usually the dry season is longer. During the dry seasons plant life and animal life suffers, but as the rainy season begins life flourishes in this area. This climate is caused by changing wind and ocean currents.
What are the Temperatures like?
During the wet season, temperatures average about 77 degrees. During the dry season, temperatures average about 68 degrees. The temperatures stay high throughout the year because of the latitude where this climate occurs. Areas near the equator receive constant direct sunlight and therefore, heat. The slight difference in temperature is enough to change the wind patterns and keep this area dry for much of the year, until the winds shift and the rainy season begins.
How Much Precipitation Does it Receive?
The change in precipitation is what gives this climate type is name. Precipitation only falls during the summer months, usually from May-August with June and July having the heaviest rain. The whole dry season usually has less than 4 inches of rain. During the wet season, at least 25 inches will fall. Some areas of Tropical Wet and Dry in the path of monsoon winds can receive incredible amounts of rain. Cherepunji, India once received over 1,000 inches of rain in a year! Northern Madagascar has the record for rain in one day--71 inches! Mawsynram, India is known as the "wettest place on earth" because they average 467 inches of rain per year. These incredible rainfall records are due to seasonal winds called monsoon, which bring dangerous amounts of rain.
What Kinds of Vegetation (Plants) Does it Have?
The lack of regular rainfall prevents most trees from surviving in Tropical Wet and Dry. So, the most common vegetation are types grasses and shrubs with an few scattered trees. These types of plants have adapted to long periods of dry weather. The large grasslands are often called savannas.
What Kind of Animals Does it Usually Have?
The grasslands of Tropical Wet and Dry support many herbivores (plant eaters) who graze in the grasses. Most of these animals usually migrate and run in large herds for safety. Examples include wildebeests, gazelles, zebras, elephants, giraffes, etc. Many carnivores (meat eaters) follow and hunt the herbivores. Lions, cheetahs, hyenas, and large birds hunt the savannas of Africa.