The polar regions are very cold because the Sun's rays are weakest at the North and South Pole.


Powerful, icy-cold winds blow throughout the year. Often the wind sweeps up powdery snow from the ground and swirls it around, causing cold blizzards. Very little new snow or rain falls as it is too cold for moisture to evaporate.

Lake effect snow strong wind poor visibility blizzard hwy404 jan08

The wind chill can make the temperature appear even lower than it actually is. An actual temperature of -6oC, for example, would make it feel a bitterly cold -34oC when the effect of wind chill is added on. Temperatures as low as -50oC have even been recorded.

The ground in the Tundra regions around the edge of the Arctic stays frozen for nine months of the year. In the summer months, only the surface thaws and deeper ground stays frozen. This frozen layer is called permafrost. Melted snow cannot seep through the permafrost so, in the summer, the surface of the tundra lands becomes boggy. The landscape of the tundra is therefore a treeless plain covered with moss and some grass-like plants.

Arctic tundra's boggy terrain