Back to Main Page Back to GCSE Page Back to Weather and Climate Menu

Maritime and Continental Climates

Plymouth and Kiev data

Kiev and Plymouth are both on the same line of Latitude (50N) so should have very similar climates.

Looking at the graphs above you can see that Kiev is warmer in summer and colder in winter than Plymouth.

In addition, Plymouth receives more rainfall that Kiev, and Kiev has a summer rainy season in contrast to a winter rainy season in Plymouth. This proves they have different climates. Plymouth has a maritime climate, whereas Kiev has a continental climate.

The reason for the different rainfall is that Plymouth is surrounded by ocean water so has more available moisture, hence it is wetter than Kiev.

Winter depressions bring Plymouth most of its rainfall, in contrast to convectional rainfall at Kiev in the summer, hence the different rainy seasons.

Temperature is different because Plymouth is surrounded by water and Kiev is in the middle of a continent, surrounded by rock. Water retains its heat in winter warming coastal temperatures in Plymouth.  A warm ocean current called the North Atlantic Drift, also warming Plymouth in Winter. Kiev is surrounded by rock which loses its heat in winter quickly, causing Kiev to be cold.  In summer the rock heats quickly, giving Kiev high summer temperatures. Find out more with S-cool.


a) Locate both Nantes, France and Moscow, Russia, using and add their locations to a map of Europe.

b) Look at the data below.  You can graph it using this Excel file if you wish.

Nantes, France, 47.17N 1.60W. Height about 27m above sea level.    
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
mm 78.5 62 61.8 53.7 60.7 54.5 50.1 53.5 69.7 89 91.1 86 810.9
C 4.9 5.6 7.6 10.3 13.5 16.6 18.5 18.2 15.9 11.9 7.7 5.4 11.3
Moscow, Russia, 55.75N 37.50E    
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
mm 34.4 29 32.7 38.2 51 65.6 81.5 71.8 57.7 50.4 44.1 42.4 600.6
C -10.2 -8.9 -4 4.5 12.2 16.3 18.5 16.6 10.9 4.3 -2 -7.5 4.2

1) What is the temperature range for Nantes?

2) What is the temperature range for Moscow?

3) Why are the ranges so different?

4) Which place is wettest?

5) Why is this the case?

6) Which place has a maritime climate? How can you tell?