Tropical Weather

Introduction to Tropical Weather

The weather in the tropics is basically hot and humid. This is primarily due to the earth receiving more solar radiation than it re-radiates back to space. This excessive heating generates weather that can impact any other location on the globe. This energy imbalance drives the circulation of the atmosphere.

There is abundant rainfall due to the rising air created by the sun's heating, and during certain periods, thunderstorms can occur every day.

Nevertheless, the tropics still receive a considerable amount of sunshine, and when combined with the excessive rainfall, provide ideal growing conditions.

Equal amounts of solar radiation strike the earth.
Equal amounts of solar radiation strike the earth. Yet the farther one is away from the equator the more that radiation spreads over the earth's surface.The impact of the energy received is at the equator is greatest (1) while the energy's impact is spread over a larger area toward the poles (2).

Because a substantial part of the Sun's heat energy is used up in evaporation and rain formation, temperatures in the tropics rarely exceed 95°F (35°C).

At night the abundant cloud cover restricts heat loss, and minimum temperatures fall no lower than about 72°F (22°C).

This high level of temperature is maintained with little variation throughout the year. Therefore, the seasons are not distinguished by warm and cold periods but by variation of rainfall and cloudiness.