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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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

In the late winter and early spring a warm, dry wind called the Chinook may blow down the eastern slopes of the Rockies.

  • Warming at a rate of 1⁰F for every 180 feet it descends, the Chinook rapidly melts and evaporates the snow at the base of the mountains.

Today I learned…

For example…



  • Examine the Interior, Eastern and Tropical Climates of the U.S. and Canada
interior climates
Interior Climates
  • 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, 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 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Map/Picture Evaluation:

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class work homework
Class work/ Homework
  • Page 125 1, 3-6