Taiwan is situated between the world's largest continent (Asia) and largest ocean (Pacific). The Tropic of Cancer (23.5oN) running across its middle section divides the island into two climates, the tropical monsoon climate in the south and subtropical monsoon climate in the north. High temperature and humidity, massive rainfall and tropical cyclones in summer characterize the climate of Taiwan. The latitude and topography, ocean currents and monsoons are the main contributing factors. According to Koppen's climate classification, the four climate types in Taiwan are a Monsoon and Trade-Wind Coastal Climate (Am) in the south, Mild, Humid Climate (Cfa) in the north, Wet-Dry Tropical Climate (Cwa) in the west, and Temperate Rainy Climate with Dry Winter (Cw) in mountain areas.
Taiwan's annual average temperature is about 24 degrees Celsius in the south and 22C in the north. In July, the warmest month, the island's temperature goes up to 27C with the north slightly warmer than the south. In the winter, the coldest average temperature for the north is about 15C in February while that for the south is around 19C in January. Northern Taiwan thus experiences a greater range of temperature throughout the year than its southern counterpart.
The temperature in mountainous areas drops with increasing altitude. The annual temperature range is smaller in the mountains than in the plains but the daily range is greater.