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Cold semi-arid (steppe) climate

Köppen Code: BSk
B : Arid
S : Steppe
k : Cold


View Index of Climate Classification Types

Steppe climates are intermediates between desert climates (BW) and humid climates in ecological characteristics and agricultural potential.

To determine if a location has a semi-arid climate, the precipitation threshold must first be determined. Finding the precipitation threshold (in millimeters) involves first multiplying the average annual temperature in °C by 20, then adding 280 if 70% or more of the total precipitation is in the high-sun half of the year (April through September in the Northern temperate zone, or October through March in the Southern), or 140 if 30%–70% of the total precipitation is received during the applicable period, or 0 if less than 30% of the total precipitation is so received. If the area's annual precipitation is less than the threshold but more than half the threshold, it is classified as a BS (steppe climate).

Cold semi-arid climates have a mean annual temperature below 18°C, or a mean temperature of no more than 0°C in the coldest month.

Related climatic classifications
BShHot semi-arid (steppe) climate
BWhHot deserts climate
BWkCold desert climate


A selection of mineral localities found in this climate zone.

Silver Coin Mine, Valmy, Iron Point District, Humboldt Co., Nevada, USA
Fresnillo de Gonzalez Echeverria (Fresnillo), Mun. de Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico
Quiruvilca Mine (La Libertad Mine; ASARCO Mine), Quiruvilca District, Santiago de Chuco Province, La Libertad, Peru
Champion Mine (White Mountain Mine; Jeffrey Mine; Diaspore; Vulcanus; Black Eagle; Champion Sillimanite Mine; Champion Andalusite Mine; Vulcanite Mine; Vulcanite & Vulcanus No. 156; Black Eagle & Vulcanus Nos. 8 and 9 No. 157), White Mountain Peak, White Mts, Mono Co., California, USA
Shattuck Mine (Shattuck-Denn Mine; Shattuck-Arizona Mine; Denn Mine), Bisbee, Warren District, Mule Mts, Cochise Co., Arizona, USA
Topaz Mountain, Thomas Range, Juab Co., Utah, USA
Owyhee Dam, Lake Owyhee State Park, Malheur Co., Oregon, USA
Cerro de Mercado Mine, Victoria de Durango, Cerro de los Remedios, Mun. de Durango, Durango, Mexico
San Carlos Indian Reservation, Gila Co., Arizona, USA
Glory Hole, Gold Hill Mine (Western Utah Mine), Gold Hill, Gold Hill District (Clifton District), Tooele Co., Utah, USA
San Quintin, Mun. de Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
Mex-Tex Mine, Bingham, Hansonburg District, Socorro Co., New Mexico, USA
Cole Mine (Cole shaft; Cole No. 3), Bisbee, Warren District, Mule Mts, Cochise Co., Arizona, USA
Kambalda, Coolgardie Shire, Western Australia, Australia
Delicias Mine, Rancho Los Pocitos, Mun. de Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
Cerro de Potosí (Cerro Rico), Potosí City, Potosí, Bolivia
The Cove (Topaz Valley), Topaz Mountain, Thomas Range, Juab Co., Utah, USA
San Juan de Rayas Mine (Rayas Mine; Reyes Mine), Guanajuato, Mun. de Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
Omega Mine (Omega tunnel; Omega Extension Mine), Monument Mountain, Helvetia, Helvetia-Rosemont District, Santa Rita Mts, Pima Co., Arizona, USA
United Verde Mine (The Big Hole; Big Hole property; Hull Mine; Hopewell tunnel; Patented claim 3480; Patented claim 2812; Patented claims 3348), Jerome, Verde District, Black Hills (Black Hill Range), Yavapai Co., Arizona, USA
St Peters Dome, Cheyenne District (St. Peters Dome District), El Paso Co., Colorado, USA
Soda Lake, Carrizo Plain, San Luis Obispo Co., California, USA
Erupción Mine (Ahumada Mine; Erupción-Ahumada Mine), Los Lamentos Mts (Sierra de Los Lamentos), Mun. de Ahumada, Chihuahua, Mexico
Lookout Pass Thallium prospect, Little Valley, Sheeprock Mts, Tooele Co., Utah, USA
Charcas, Mun. de Charcas, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
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