Latitude Isn’t Everything

Latitude Isn’t Everything

Something occurred to me today: Why do two cities on the same latitude not necessarily have the same climate?

Actually it was based on a comment that my daughter made when she got home from school today. Curious to learn the reason I took the chance to study something new (to me) instead of asking. For one it was something that I had never heard of before. I think that I just took it for granted that they would be the same.


It it possible that two cities on the same latitude (imaginary line parallel to the equator) do not have the same climate at all. The answer I found used Paris and Montreal as an example, which are on this same latitude.

You would think that these two cities have the same climate which is absolutely wrong. In winter the temperature often dips well into the minus in Montreal, which is obviously not the case in Paris. This difference is due to other factors that come into play such as oceans, mountains, deserts. Paris benefits from the Gulf Stream, an ocean current that carries moist and relatively warm air. As for Montreal, it is a polar current descending from Greenland that arrives in winter.

Conclusion: just because two cities are on the same latitude does not mean that they will have the same climate, other factors come into play.

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