Sunshine and Rain
Chapter Three: Shalimar's Climate
Shalimar's axis is perpendicular to the plane of its orbit, so the planet has no seasons. The equatorial region is very warm, and temperatures range between 80 and 100 degrees fahrenheit. Humidity is also very high. Mornings begin clear and sunny, but evaporating water causes cloud buildup during the day, and showers follow in the late afternoon. In the areas where the ocean is shallow, the water is warm, and may be about 80 degrees. This warm water maintains the temperature during the night, so that there is little fluctuation between night and day. Temperatures are lower at higher elevations.
Further from the equator, the temperature is more pleasant for humans, fluctuating between 60 and 80 degrees fahrenheit. Unfortunately (from our perspective) most of the land area is not in this zone. Here the humidity is also high, and afternoon rainstorms are common.
To the north and south of this zone lies a region where temperatures vary from 40 to 60 degrees. This coolness is the result of the region receiving less intense solar radiation than the equatorial zone. It is also often overcast: warm, moisture-laden air rises from the oceans, drawing cooler air from this region. The warm air then flows away from the equator, and the water condenses into clouds above the cooler water as it flows away from the equator.
Toward the poles, temperatures drop below freezing. In the light blue areas ice may melt during the day: the darker blue north pole has a permanent cap of ice.
The conditions described are the normal conditions on Shalimar. However, meteor impacts sometimes impose other conditions. While most cosmic particles are very small and cause no damage, much larger masses may strike the planet with enormous force. Massive strikes may hurl dust into the air, or cause fires and perhaps even volcanic eruptions that fill the air with dust and soot. Air borne particles may blot out heat from the sun and cause temperatures to fall. There is no way of predicting when these changes may occur.
© Elizabeth Anne Viau, 1996. This material may be used freely for instructional purposes but not sold for a price beyond the cost of reproduction. Please e-mail me at email@example.com if you use this material. I'd be interested to know how it works for you!