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North America Weather

Weather varies dramatically across the North American landscape. Climates range from Arctic cold to Equatorial heat, and everything in between. Precipitation and temperature levels modulate dramatically depending on location.

Severe weather in the form of thunderstorms is a normal spring and summer occurrence across North America. Devastating tornadoes are also common in the spring and summer months, especially in the central part of the U.S. From June through October hurricanes occasionally strike the Caribbean islands, northern Central American countries, Gulf of Mexico states, Mexico, and the eastern coastline of the U.S.

On the western edges of the continent, weather is affected by the weather patterns El Niño and La Niña. El Niño causes higher ocean water temperatures while La Niña causes colder water temperatures. The two weather patterns alternate every five years and affect the weather of the entire continent.

Summers in North America during the El Niño weather pattern are wetter than average. Winters in North America during El Niño are warmer on average and there is less snow fall. Just as you might have guessed, La Niña has the opposite effect on both seasons.

Individual country weather pages:

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This page was last modified on August 14, 2015.