What is a Mediterranean climate?

J. Agoston agoston.janos123@gmail.com
Thu, 04 Feb 2010 01:50:51 PST
Dear Michael,

Next time please embedd the fonts into the PDF, my computer cannot show the
text amnd the map.


2010/2/4 Michael Mace <mikemace@att.net>

> We all know what a Mediterranean climate is -- it's dry warm summers and
> cool wet winters.  But when you look more closely, the details vary from
> region to region.  For example, the specific weather that people call
> "Mediterranean climate" is quite a bit different from the specifics in
> California.
> I'm convinced that many of our struggles to grow bulbs and other plants
> from
> Mediterranean climates come from an assumption that everything
> "Mediterranean" needs the same basic conditions.
> Lee Poulsen created some fantastic charts a few years ago comparing
> rainfall
> in various "Mediterranean" cities.  When he graphed the rainfall in those
> cities, he found important differences -- some "Mediterranean" cities still
> get significant amounts of rainfall in the summer, and the length of the
> summer "dry" period varies tremendously.
> Lee's work inspired me to see if I could create climate maps of the
> Mediterranean regions, all formatted the same way, so we could easily
> compare climates from one region to another.  After a lot of work, I've
> finished a draft of the maps and posted them to the wiki, with a detailed
> (maybe too detailed) explanation.
> I haven't linked to the page from the rest of the wiki yet, because I'd
> like
> to gather comments first.  So the only way to get to the page is to use
> this
> web address:
> http://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/…
> Some tidbits from the maps
> --South Africa and Western/Southern Australia have the mildest climates.
> --California probably has the harshest Mediterranean climate.  It has
> colder
> winters and drier summers than the other regions.
> --Central Chile's pattern is similar to California's, although a bit milder
> in many areas.
> --Coastal Oregon and Washington have weather that resembles a Mediterranean
> pattern in many ways.  Officially, climatologists do not classify them as
> Mediterranean, but for plant-growing purposes I think of them as
> semi-Mediterranean.  The same thing applies to south-central Chile.
> --Europe is a mix of all the other regions.  Spain, southern France, Italy,
> and Morocco/Algeria all have comparatively moist summers.  The Greek
> islands
> and the Middle East have very dry summers.
> What it all means
> Here's what I think the maps are telling me about growing Mediterranean
> bulbs and plants in California:
> --Why do so many of my South African Amaryllid bulbs need supplemental
> water
> in the summer?  Because they are used to getting some summer rainfall.
> --Why do many European bulbs naturalize well in gardens that get year-round
> water, when that kills bulbs from places like California?  Because many
> areas in Mediterranean Europe get more summer rain than any other
> Mediterranean region.
> --Why do I have so much trouble growing Australian plants?  Because they
> are
> used to warmer winters and milder summers than I have in my part of
> California.  Even if I protect them from frost, planting them out in the
> garden with no supplemental water in summer is likely to put them under
> enormous stress.  No wonder they grow better along the mild, damp coast of
> California.
> Questions for you:
>        What do you think of the maps?
>        Are there errors I need to fix?  Things to add?
>        Is this useful?
>        Do you think this is appropriate to post on the PBS wiki?
> Thanks in advance for your feedback.
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