Photographer's Note

*** The extremely mild subtropical climates.
Where all monthly mean air temperatures are above 15ºC and below 21ºC dew point as well as yearly daily average amplitude of temperature under 7*C.

Very few such areas are located on continents:
- arid west coasts of the Americas (Baja California, Lima, Peru to Arica, Chile) and Africa (southern Morocco, southern Angola, Namibia).
- green east coasts of South Africa (East London), Australia (Coffs Harbour). In South America and a few spots in and around Santa Catarina in Brazil (Florianópolis fails to meet the dew point criteria in the two warmest months: average temperature just under 25ºC but relative humidity above 80 %).
- an extremely small part of the Mediterranean coast. All WMO stations fail to meet all criteria, with Tel Aviv in Israel coming the closest (15ºC in coldest month, 21ºC dew point in warmest month).

The rest is found in oceanic islands. Considerably less variance of daily temperatures explains why these spots also boast the world's lowest sums for heating and cooling degree days, calculated using the usual 18.4 ºC base (65ºF) and daily averages for maximum precision:
- southern hemisphere: Norfolk and Lord Howe.
- northern hemisphere: some spots of Canary Islands; Madeira's south coast and Porto Santo; two spots at the south coasts of the Azores: Praia Formosa in Santa Maria and around Vila Franca do Campo in São Miguel.

*** Clifftops around Vila Franca do Campo
One of only two spots in the nearly 1,000 km long Azores coast with an extremely mild subtropical climate.
At the best locations, 20 to 30 meters above sea level, all located within a 3 km radius from the marina, the day's average temperature ranges from 24.5º C (28-21.5) in the warmest month to 16ºC (18.5 -14.5) in the coldest month. The yearly precipitation is around 800 mm and occurence of fog is unknown.

*** Extreme variance of climates in a small area or what microclimates are all about
Contrast the climate at the 20 and 30 meters high clifftops around Vila Franca do Campo with:
- the Vila Franca marina, located in a cold air basin in winter: 15ºC (18-13) in the coldest month.
- the airport's weather station reporting temperatures for the island, in a cold air basin and exposed to west and north winds, with monthly mean air temperatures in average 2.5º C cooler.
- hills around the Lagoa do Fogo lake, 6 km away and up to 950 m higher: up to 260 days with occurence of fog and 4000 mm yearly precipitation or FIVE times higher, more of a difference than between any two locations in Europe.

Photo shot at the exact same latitude and longitude as this one, a few hundred meters below

See also themes "Azorean Riviera" and "World's Mildest Climates".

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Additional Photos by Ilena Lo (NaturalLand) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 26 W: 0 N: 141] (639)
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