Tropical rainforest climate
A tropical rainforest climate, also known as an equatorial climate, is a tropical climate
Tropical climate
A tropical climate is a climate of the tropics. In the Köppen climate classification it is a non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures above...

 usually (but not always) found along the equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

. Regions with this climate typically feature tropical rainforest
Tropical rainforest
A tropical rainforest is an ecosystem type that occurs roughly within the latitudes 28 degrees north or south of the equator . This ecosystem experiences high average temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall...

s, and is designated by the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 as "Af."


Tropical rainforest climate is a type of tropical climate
Tropical climate
A tropical climate is a climate of the tropics. In the Köppen climate classification it is a non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures above...

 in which there is no dry season
Dry season
The dry season is a term commonly used when describing the weather in the tropics. The weather in the tropics is dominated by the tropical rain belt, which oscillates from the northern to the southern tropics over the course of the year...

 – all months have mean precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 values of at least 60 mm (2.36 inches). Tropical rainforest climates have no pronounced summer or winter; it is typically hot and wet throughout the year and rainfall is both heavy and frequent. One day in an equatorial climate can be very similar to the next, while the change in temperature between day and night may be larger than the average change in temperature between "summer" and "winter".


A tropical rainforest climate is usually found at latitude
In geography, the latitude of a location on the Earth is the angular distance of that location south or north of the Equator. The latitude is an angle, and is usually measured in degrees . The equator has a latitude of 0°, the North pole has a latitude of 90° north , and the South pole has a...

s within five degrees North and South of the equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

, which are dominated by the Intertropical Convergence Zone
Intertropical Convergence Zone
The Intertropical Convergence Zone , known by sailors as The Doldrums, is the area encircling the earth near the equator where winds originating in the northern and southern hemispheres come together....

. However, tropical rainforest microclimate
A microclimate is a local atmospheric zone where the climate differs from the surrounding area. The term may refer to areas as small as a few square feet or as large as many square miles...

s are found in many other regions, while not everywhere along the equatorial region there is a tropical rainforest climate (see also equatorial dry zone).

Some of the places that have this climate are indeed uniformly and monotonously wet throughout the year (e.g., the northwest Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 coast of South
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 and Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

, from Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 to Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, see for instance, Andagoya
Andagoya is a village in west-central Colombia whose chief claim to fame is its spectacularly monotonous climate, in terms of both temperature and precipitation....

, Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

), but in many cases the period of higher sun and longer days is distinctly wettest (as at Palembang
Palembang is the capital city of the South Sumatra province in Indonesia. Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, and has a history of being a capital of a maritime empire. Located on the Musi River banks on the east coast of southern Sumatra island, it has an area of 400.61 square...

, Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

) or the time of lower sun and shorter days may have more rain (as at Sitiawan
Sitiawan, Malaysia is a region in the Manjung district of Perak, Malaysia....

, Malaysia).

Additionally, while tropical rainforest climates are typically located near the equator (hence the alternate name “equatorial climate”), there are a number of instances where the climate is found some distance away from the equator. For instance, Santos, Brazil and Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Lauderdale is a city in the U.S. state of Florida, on the Atlantic coast. It is the county seat of Broward County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 165,521. It is a principal city of the South Florida metropolitan area, which was home to 5,564,635 people at the 2010...

, USA are not only far removed from the equator, but is actually located just outside the tropics
The tropics is a region of the Earth surrounding the Equator. It is limited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere at approximately  N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere at  S; these latitudes correspond to the axial tilt of the Earth...

. Yet both of these cities feature a tropical rainforest climate, albeit with noticeably cooler and warmer periods of the year.

Climatic Characteristics

  • The latitude usually comes under the Doldrums Low Pressure belt all the year and therefore there are almost no distinct seasons.
  • The midday sun is always near the vertical and it is overhead twice a year, at the equinoxes.
  • Average daily temperatures are typically at around 27°C (80.6°F) throughout the year. Extensive cloud cover and heavy rainfall prevent diurnal temperatures from rising much over 33°C (91.4°F.)
  • The diurnal temperature change is usually between 2°C and 5°C which is greater than the annual temperature range of 2°C
  • Rainfall is heavy and is usually convectional.


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