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A Mediterranean climate (// MED-ih-tə-RAY-nee-ən), also called a dry summer climate, described by Köppen as Cs, is a temperate climate type that occurs in the lower mid-latitudes (normally 30 to 44 north and south latitude). Such climates typically have dry summers and wet winters, with summer conditions ranging from warm to hot and winter conditions typically being mild to cool. These weather conditions are typically experienced in the majority of Mediterranean-climate regions and countries, but remain highly dependent on proximity to the ocean, altitude and geographical location.
The dry summer climate is found throughout the warmer middle latitudes, affecting almost exclusively the western portions of continents in relative proximity to the coast. The climate type's name is in reference to the coastal regions of the Mediterranean Sea, which mostly share this type of climate, but it can also be found in the Atlantic portions of Iberia and Northwest Africa, the Pacific portions of the United States and Chile, extreme west areas of Argentina, around Cape Town, South Africa, parts of Southwest and South Australia and parts of Central Asia.
Mediterranean climate zones are typically located along the western coasts of landmasses, between roughly 30 and 45 degrees north or south of the equator. The main cause of Mediterranean, or dry summer, climate is the subtropical ridge, which extends towards the pole of the hemisphere in question during the summer and migrates towards the equator during the winter. This is due to the seasonal poleward-equatorward variations of temperatures.
The resulting vegetation of Mediterranean climates are the garrigue or maquis in the European Mediterranean Basin, the chaparral in California, the fynbos in South Africa, the mallee in Australia, and the matorral in Chile. Areas with this climate are also where the so-called "Mediterranean trinity" of major agricultural crops have traditionally been successfully grown (wheat, grapes and olives). As a result, these regions are notable for their high-quality wines, grapeseed/olive oils, and bread products.
Most of the historically iconic cities and regions of the Mediterranean Basin lie within the Mediterranean climatic zone, including Algiers, Antalya, Athens, Barcelona, Beirut, Dubrovnik, İzmir, Jerusalem, Limassol, Marseille, Monaco, Naples, Rome, Tunis and Valletta. Locations with Mediterranean climates outside of the Mediterranean Basin include Adelaide, Cape Town, Casablanca, Dushanbe, Lisbon, Los Angeles, Perth, Porto, San Francisco, Santiago, Tashkent, Victoria and Viña del Mar.
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