The Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest is located along the Pacific coastline of Alaska, south through Washington State into North America. This particular area is the largest coastal temperate rainforest in the world where annual rain is measured in feet! Annual precipitation can be measured from as little as 60 inches to as much as 200 inches. The fog contributes to the rainfall amounts by as much as 12 inches a year. At almost 100 miles wide and 2,500 miles down the coast, this temperate rainforest is filled with lush vegetation and a variety of wildlife.
The differences between a tropical and temperate are location, temperature, and rainfall totals. Tropical rainforests are located near the tropics where the temperatures remain very warm all year long, with rain exceeding as much as 400 inches per year. Even though temperate rainforests are located in the higher latitudes, temperatures can be mild. Temperatures decrease with height, however, resulting in the snow-capped mountains seen in the picture above.
A combination of the Pacific Storms, mountain ranges and the relatively warmer Alaska current make this type of climate in the temperate rainforest possible. It is noted that the temperatures seldom fall below freezing despite being in the higher latitudes where the climate is normally colder. The image above was taken outside of Skagway, Alaska in the Tongass National Forest. For more information on the Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest, click here!
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Source: World Wildlife Fund
ⓒ 2017 Meteorologist Brandie Cantrell