The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographical and climate zones located to the north and south of the Torrid Zone. Geographically part of the North and South temperate zones, they cover the latitudes between 23°26′11.3″ (or 23.43647°) and approximately 35° in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. The horse latitudes lie within this range.

Areas of the world with subtropical climates according to Köppen climate classification
The subtropics and tropics

Subtropical climates are often characterized by hot summers and mild winters with infrequent frost. Most subtropical climates fall into two basic types: humid subtropical, where rainfall is often concentrated in the warmest months, for example Southeast China and the Southeastern United States, and dry summer or Mediterranean climate, where seasonal rainfall is concentrated in the cooler months, such as the Mediterranean Basin or Southern California.

Subtropical climates can occur at high elevations within the tropics, such as in the southern end of the Mexican Plateau and in the Vietnamese Highlands. Six climate classifications use the term to help define the various temperature and precipitation regimes for planet Earth.

A great portion of the world's deserts are located within the subtropics, due to the development of the subtropical ridge. Areas bordering warm oceans (typically on the southeast sides of continents) are prone to locally heavy rainfall from tropical cyclones, which can contribute a significant percentage of the annual rainfall. Areas bordering cool oceans (typically on the southwest sides of continents) are prone to fog, aridity, and dry summers. Plants such as palms, citrus, mango, pistachio, lychee, and avocado are grown in the subtropics.