In this chapter, the global distribution and characteristics of mid-latitude climates are considered before examining the climatic features of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and the British Isles. The climate and weather of these regions is governed by the location and vigour of the prevailing mid-latitude westerly winds. The focus then changes from these essentially maritime, west coast climates to those of North America. While much of this continent lies within the mid-latitudes, it is a region in which continental influences are more developed and one in which meridional (north—south) exchanges of air have a more profound influence on weather and climate compared with Europe.