Subarctic Climate (Dfc, Dfd)

Yakutsk climograph

Latitude/Longitude = 62.1o N; 129.49o W
Average Annual Temperature (oC) = -10.08
Annual Temperature Range (oC) = 63
Total Annual Precipitation (mm) =213
Summer Precipitation (mm) = 157
Winter Precipitation (mm) = 56

Coniferous trees

Snow covered coniferous forest, typical natural vegetation of the Subarctic climate. Conical shape of tree helps capture insolation at low angles.

Photo credit: T. Smylie, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Photo from the World Biomes CD-ROM, Optilearn Inc, Stevens Point, WI. Used with permission


Geographical Distribution

  • Northern N. America from Newfoundland to Alaska;
  • Northern Eurasia from Scandinavia through most of Siberia.
  • Virtually nonexistent in the Southern Hemisphere

Controlling Factors

  • Location in the higher middle latitudes (50o to 70o ).
  • Westerlies in summer; strong polar anticyclone and Easterlies in winter.
  • Occasional cyclonic storms.
  • Extreme continentality.
  • cP, cA, mP air masses


  • Brief, cool summers; long, bitterly cold winters.
  • Largest annual temperature ranges.
  • Lowest temperatures outside of Antarctica.

Question for Thought

  • Why do you think the Subarctic has colder temperatures, on average, than the tundra?

World Climates Contents | Interactive Climate Map


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