Aragon Climate and vegetation

The climate of Aragon is predominated, in general, by two different climates, the Semi-arid climate and the Oceanic climate. Its irregular orography creates several climates or microclimates throughout the entire community. From the High mountain Alpine climate of the central Pyrenees to the north, with perpetual ice (glaciers), to the Humid subtropical climate (which is very common in Huesca’s lower altitude areas) to the steppe or semi-desert zones, such as the Monegros Desert, passing through the intense continental climate of the Teruel-Daroca area and the Mediterranean climate in the southern areas bordering Castilla La Mancha and the Valencian Community.

The main characteristics of the Aragonese climate are:

Rainfall is mostly low, with much of Aragon placed in a bowl of low ground between the Pyrenean mountain range to the north and the Sistema Ibérico mountain range to the south, cut off from maritime air masses. This situation means that the rain falls mainly in the higher areas, and that the temperature range features large contrasts, with cold winters and hot summers, as typical of continental climates.

Rainfall is also irregular, as typical of Mediterranean climates, with randomly alternating dry and wet years.

The air currents are often encased in the middle Ebro Valley from northwest to southeast, giving a characteristic wind, the cierzo, which stands out for its intensity and frequency.

Temperatures are very dependent on the altitude. In the Ebro Valley the winters are relatively moderate, although the frosts are very common and the thermal sensation can decrease a lot with the cierzo. Temperatures in summer can exceed 40 °C in the central areas. In mountain areas winters are long and rigorous, average temperatures can be up to 10 °C lower than in the valley.

The two most important winds of Aragon are the cierzo and the bochorno or levant. The first is a cold and dry wind that crosses the Ebro Valley from northwest to southeast and that can become quite strong. The second is a warm wind, more irregular and smooth, coming from the south-east.

The vegetation follows the oscillations of relief and climate. There is a great variety, both in natural vegetation and in crops. In the high areas there are forests (pines, firs, beech trees, oaks), bush and meadows, and in the central Ebro Valley, evergreen oak and juniper are the most common trees.

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