Deciduous forest is found in parts of North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, within the latitude 23 degrees north and 38 degrees south. As the name signifies, much of the area is occupied by deciduous trees that change their leaf shade with respect to the prevailing climatic conditions. You might be already aware about autumn leaf color of deciduous trees. As far as the forest climate is concerned, it is nearly similar to the climatic conditions of the temperate zone. Hence, the terms deciduous forest biome and temperate forest biome are used colloquially.
Studying about the deciduous forest biome is very interesting, as the seasonal changes are clearly visible from the forest color. For instance, sprouting of new vibrant green leaves in the trees marks the arrival of spring, which mature through summer season. The foliage color then changes to shades of yellow, orange, and red in autumn season, after which they fall during the cold winter months. This way, the cycle of leaf sprouting, changing color, and shedding repeats every year. Some facts about the climate in deciduous forest are mentioned below, which you may find interesting to learn.
Deciduous Forest Climate Basics
The medial temperature recorded in deciduous forest is 50 °F, while the rate of precipitation is approximately 30 inch to 60 inch a year. The average humidity level is high, about 60 percent and higher. Together, these conditions have made deciduous forest a comfortable place to thrive for the plants and animals in the area.
Similar to temperate regions, the deciduous forest comprises four different seasons, namely, spring season, summer season, autumn season, and winter season. While spring is the most pleasant time for all inhabitants of the forest, summer temperature is not so extreme. Nevertheless, autumn and winter remain cool for this forest biome.
Comes June month and it marks the beginning of summer for the deciduous forest, which continues till the end of August month. While speaking about the detailed temperature range, the forest represents moderately warm condition during these three months. On an average, summer temperature in the area measures about 70 °F.
The arrival of December signals the end of autumn and the beginning of winter season for the animals and plants. Despite pleasant temperature condition in summer, the climate in winter is of an extreme type. The temperature falls a bit below the freezing point. It is because of the location that makes winter very cold in this zone.
Coming to the rainfall part, the temperate forest receives an average precipitation of about 14 inch in winter. As expected, the amount of rainfall during summer season is higher than winter months, which accounts to about 18 inch. Since rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year, there is less issue for drought and flood incidences in the deciduous forest biome.
To sum up, the marked fluctuation in the seasonal climate of deciduous forest is due to wind and location near the oceans. As you have seen, the climate is pleasant and not extreme, except during winter months. Limited water availability in winter is due to the freezing temperature condition. Regarding the shedding of foliage, water scarcity and cold atmospheric temperatures are the main reasons behind it. However, there are some deciduous forest plants that remain evergreen all the year round. Such tree species have adaptive features to withstand lack of water and extreme low temperature. Overall, the deciduous forest life is greatly influenced by changes in the seasonal climatic conditions.