(most measurements in Fahrenheit and inches... sorry rest of the world)
Highland climate is pretty simple. It is the climate found around high land. High land means mountains. Mountains can have a completely different climate at the bottom compared to the top. Highland climate is often called Alpine Climate. Nearly every part of this climate--temperature, precipitation, etc. depends on the elevation level.
Where is Highland Climate Usually Located?
Highland climate is the climate of 'high' 'land'. So, this climate is found in high mountain areas. It is found on single mountains such as Mount Kilimanjaro and also large areas of high elevation such as the Plateau of Tibet. The Plateau of Tibet (below) averages 20,000 feet above sea level--it is the largest area of high land on Earth. This climate is sometimes called Alpine Climate.
This is a map of Asia showing the Plateau of Tibet.
What Seasons Does Highland Climate Have?
There are no seasons in Highland climate. Any seasonal differences would only be felt at low elevations, near the bottom of a mountain.
What are the Temperatures like in Highland Climate?
The reason mountains need their own climate type is because the "climate" changes as you move up the mountain. At the base (bottom) of a mountain it might be 80 degrees and sunny, but as you climb the mountain it will get colder and be rainy. As you keep climbing, it might be snowy and freezing cold. In fact, the temperature drops about 3 degrees every 1000 feet in elevation as you move up a mountain. So, the temperatures in Highland depends on the elevation.
How Much Precipitation Does Highland Climate Receive?
The amount of precipitation in Highland climate depends on the elevation. Sometimes the land around the base of a mountain is dry, but snow may cover the top of a mountain. This happens because high mountains force warm air to rise, where it cools and creates precipitation. The level of precipitation in a Highland climate depends on the elevation you want to measure.
This is a graphic showing a mountain and the temperature changes at different elevations.
What Kinds of Vegetation (Plants) Does Highland Climate Have?
The type of vegetation that grows in Highland also depends on the elevation. At the base (bottom) of the mountain the vegetation will be the same as the surrounding climate type. So, a mountain in the rainforest will have rainforest at the base. As you move up in elevation it will change to plants that can survive colder weather, eventually there will be no vegetation at very high elevations. In fact, on high mountains you can see what is called a tree line or timberline. A tree line is a clear elevation line that divides where trees are able to survive from areas that are too harsh for them to live. Most mountains have different tree lines depending on temperature, soil, and moisture.
This is a picture of the tree line of a mountain.
What Kinds of Animals Does Highland Climate Have?
Again, the types of animals will depend on the elevation and the surrounding area. Typically, different types of goats and sheep are common in Highland climate. Mountain Goats are common in the Rocky Mountains--their feet are adapted to walking and jumping on steep cliffs. Large cats such as Mountain Lions and Snow Leopards are also found here. Snow Leopards, found around the Himalayas, have large feet and big thick tails to give them better balance in mountain terrain.
This is a picture of a snow leopard.
This is a picture of a Mountain Goat.