Climate is affected by local and regional as well as global factors. Topography is one such factor, and we can examine the effects of topography on climate by looking at an island such as Hawaii's Big Island.
There are several effects produced by topography:
Orographic (mountain) effects: Mountains greatly affect Hawaiian climate. The moist air of the trade winds must rise to pass over the mountains, and becomes cooler and drier along the way. Then, as the air descends on the lee side of the mountain, it becomes warmer but remains dry. So the lee side experiences a drier and sunnier climate than the windward side.
Gradient effects: The steepness of the mountain's slopes affects how quickly water vapor in the air reaches its condensation level. The steeper the slope, the more quickly the air condenses, causing clouds to form and rain to fall at lower elevations.
Solar heating winds: Thinner air at high elevations means mountain surfaces receive more heat than valley surfaces. The warmed air over the mountain then rises, drawing air up from valley to replace it. Return circulation flows down the mountainside, creating a local circulation pattern. The flow often reverses at night. Anabatic (upslope) and katabatic (downslope) winds are different than winds going over mountain due to orography.
Now experiment with these local effects on climate by creating
a new Hawaiian island!