Climate and Weather
Due to the size of the country, there are different climate zones in the USA. In the north there is a cool temperate climate, which changes further south into temperate, subtropical and marginal tropical climates.
In Alaska we find subarctic to arctic climate and Hawaii, there is a tropical climate with consistently high temperatures and with a lot of rainfall.
On the east coast of the USA, the amount of precipitation is between 1,000 and 2,500 mm and decreases continuously towards the interior of the country.
The rainfall in the north of the Pacific coast (northwest) averages 3,000 mm. The further south you come to the Pacific coast, the drier the summers and the milder the winters. There is an almost Mediterranean climate with rainfall of around 370 mm per year.
There is a hurricane season in the south and southeast of the United States that lasts from May to November. During this time, heavy rains, tropical storms and landslides must be expected. When warm and cold air masses meet in the Midwest, so-called tornadoes form there.
Travelers in these regions should pay attention to the weather forecast and the advice of the local security authorities. Current hurricane information can be found on the Internet.
In California, bush and forest fires that are difficult to control often occur between June and November due to the prevailing climatic conditions. Here too, travelers should pay attention to corresponding reports in the media or local authorities. Visit rrrjewelry.com for California travel package.
Hawaii has a very mild and balanced climate which is due to the prevailing NE trade winds. The side facing the wind is quite humid, whereas the other side of the islands is relatively dry.
The USA can be divided into four major landscapes:
- on the Atlantic the coastal plains,
- the Appalachian Mountains,
- the North American Cordilleras
- and in between the Inner Planes.
In 2017 there were 58 official national parks established by the United States to protect fauna and flora. The national parks have a very different character.
The most visited national parks are Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Olympic National Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Yosemite National Park and Yellowstone National Park.
Vegetation and plants
The natural vegetation in the northeast is the forest. Unfortunately, there are hardly any natural forests to be found. These had to give way to today’s commercial forests, with their fast-growing, non-native trees set in parallel rows. Shrubs, herbs and mosses are abundant in this region.
Mixed forests can be found in many areas on the east coast. In the northern part fir, spruce, pine, birch and maple.
In the south you can enjoy deciduous forests with oaks, chestnuts and beeches.
The southeast is characteristic of the subtropics with their evergreen rainforests as well as the dry forests that shed deciduous inland. Tree ferns and ferns are very common.
In the west one can find mainly deserts, semi-deserts and steppes. The plants are well adapted to dry periods. Here you can find juicy plants (succulents) and evergreen hard-leaved shrubs. The sequoia grows in the Sierra Nevada.
The typical vegetation of Alaska is the coniferous forest of the taiga (spruce, pine, larch and fir).
In many areas there are hardwoods such as birch, poplar, willow, alder, ash and shrub species such as blueberries and wild strawberries. Large parts of the soil are also covered with lichen and moss.
The tundra is the typical vegetation for northern Alaska. It is relatively poor in species, and dwarf birch, dwarf willow, sour grass, cotton grass, moss and lichens dominate.
Animals, animal species
Thanks to large protected areas, the biodiversity of the animal world in the USA has largely been preserved. Well over 90,000 species of insects, 750 species of birds and 500 species of reptiles and amphibians as well as around 400 species of mammals make up part of the fauna.
Larger mammals such as black and grizzly bears, pumas, moose and bighorn sheep live almost exclusively in protected areas today.
The number of animal species in the northeast is relatively large (amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds, fish). There are badgers, squirrels and hedgehogs, for example. But also spiders, snails, insects. Migratory birds are also common.
The deserts and semi-deserts of the southwest of the USA are particularly rich in reptiles, such as various species of rattlesnakes.
The endangered large mammals living in the west include wild horses and antelopes. Rabbits and many rodents are the most common today.
In the animal world of Alaska you can still find moose, deer, bears, mountain hares, beavers, wolves and foxes. Many of the animal species hibernate or move to warmer areas in the cold months.
Reindeer, caribou, musk ox, lemmings, weasels, arctic hares, wolves, arctic foxes, seals, walruses and polar bears live in northern Alaska. There are also birds such as the gannet and fulmar.
Hawaii has more than 70 species of birds due to its pleasant climate.