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Chapter 5 Section 2. Climate and Vegetation. Objectives:. Examine the Northern and Western climates of the U.S. and Canada. A Varied Region. 2/3rds of the Canada and the U.S. State of Alaska lie in higher latitudes and experience older climates Climate Type?

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Chapter 5 section 2

Chapter 5Section 2

Climate and Vegetation


  • Examine the Northern and Western climates of the U.S. and Canada

A varied region
A Varied Region

  • 2/3rds of the Canada and the U.S. State of Alaska lie in higher latitudes and experience older climates

    • Climate Type?

  • Most of the continental U.S. and southern 1/3 of Canada lie within temperate climates.

    • Weather?

  • Hawaii has a tropical climate.

Northern climates
Northern Climates

  • Large parts of Canada and Alaska lie in a subarctic climate zone.

    • Vegetation?

  • High Atmospheric pressure areas over the Canadian subarctic spawns the cold winds that chill much of the central U.S. during the winter.

  • Lands on the Arctic coastline fall into the tundra climate zone.

  • Bitter winters and cool summers make it inhospitable for most plants and few people live there.

    • Greenland’s tundra vegetation consists of sedge, cotton grass, and lichens.

    • Contains few trees, but does have dwarfed birch, willow, and alder scrubs.

Western climates
Western Climates zone.

  • British Columbia- cool and wet.

  • California deserts- dry and sparse

  • Rocky Mountains- snow capped.

  • Climate and Vegetation differ widely.

    • What geographical and natural occurrences create this variation?

Marine west coast
Marine West Coast zone.

  • The ocean and wind currents combined with the Pacific Ranges give the Pacific Coast from California to southern Alaska a marine west coast climate.

  • Coniferous forests, ferns, and mosses are common in this region.

  • Southern California has a Mediterranean climate.

Plateaus basins and deserts
Plateaus, Basins, and Deserts zone.

  • The rain shadow effect keeps the plateaus and basins that lie between the Pacific Ranges and the Rocky Mountains hot and dry.

  • Steppe or desert climates.

    • Important North American deserts: Great Salt Lake Desert, Death Valley, the Mojave Desert, Chihuahua Desert.

    • Death Valley- Highest recorded U.S. temperature: 134⁰F

  • Vegetation: Cacti and hardy windflowers during the brief spring rain.

  • The areas adjacent to the deserts experience steppe climates with a mixture of desert scrub, grasslands, or coniferous forests, depending on latitude.

  • Elevation, not latitude, effects the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Range climates.

  • Coniferous forest occur below the timberline, but above it, only lichens and mosses exist.

Closure: the

Today I learned…

For example…



Objectives: the

  • Examine the Interior, Eastern and Tropical Climates of the U.S. and Canada

Interior climates
Interior Climates the

  • The Great Plains, in the center of the continent, have a humid continental climate with bitterly cold winters and hot summers.

  • The Great Plains benefit from the moist winds that blow north along the Rockies from the Gulf of Mexico and south from the Arctic.

Prairies the

  • Prairies, or naturally treeless expanses of grasses, spread across the continent’s midsection.

  • Each year, rainfall ranges from about 10-30 inches waters prairie grasses, which can grow as much as half an inch a day.

  • Violent thunderstorms known as super cells spawn tornadoes, twisting funnels of air whose winds can reach 300 mph

The dust bowl
The Dust Bowl the

  • The tangled prairie roots once formed dense, solidly packed layers of sod, which settlers broke up to plant crops.

  • When dry weather blanketed the plains in the 1930s, the wind eroded unprotected topsoil, reducing farmlands across several U.S. states to a barren wasteland called the Dust Bowl.

    • Economic hardships, made worse by the Great Depression, caused mass migrations of people.

Eastern climates
Eastern Climates the

  • Southeast- humid subtropical climate with long muggy summers and mild winters.

    • Deciduous forests extend as far south as Louisiana, but land has been cleared for farming along the Mississippi River.

  • Wetlands and swamps, like Florida’s Everglades, shelter a great variety of vegetation and wildlife.

  • In late summer and early autumn, hurricanes are common.

  • Humid Continental: Extends from the Northeastern U.S. into southeastern Canada.

    • In Canada, a band of deciduous forests and mixed coniferous forestlands known as 1,375 miles wide sweeps from Newfoundland into the subarctic Yukon Territory.

  • In the U.S., deciduous forests grow at lower elevations in the South.

  • In winter, much of Northern American experiences blizzards.

Tropical climate
Tropical Climate southeastern Canada.

  • Within the continental U.S., only the extreme top of Florida has a tropical savanna climate.

  • Hawaii, 2,400 miles west of the mainland, and the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico have tropical rain forests.

Closure: southeastern Canada.

  • Map/Picture Evaluation:

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    Page 123

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    Page 125

Class work homework
Class work/ Homework southeastern Canada.

  • Page 125 1, 3-6