Average Rainfall- 13.1 inches
Average Temperature- 59 degrees Fahrenheit (summer) 12 degrees Fahrenheit (winter)
Climatogram of the Canadian Rocky Mountains
SOIL QUALITY- Mountain soils in the Rockies are poorly developed, being extremely thin and young and too deficient in nutrients for most types of agriculture. High-valley soils are sometimes suitable for irrigation, depending on texture, steepness of slopes, length of snow cover, and the presence of trace elements (e.g., selenium) that limit suitability for crop cultivation.
Animals in the Canadian Rockies- Among the large mammals emblematic of the rugged back country are the black bear, grizzly bear, mountain lion, and wolverine. Bighorn sheep and mountain goats inhabit the high crags in summer and migrate to the lower slopes for the winter months. Members of the deer family, such as the caribou, elk (wapiti), mule deer, and white-tailed deer, also migrate vertically between alpine meadows and sub alpine forest cover; the solitary moose frequents northern lakes, streams, and marshy areas, feeding on willow foliage and aquatic plants. Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is home to one of the largest herds of bison in North America. Wild horses and burros inhabit the surrounding plains, while coyotes roam the lower valleys and along roads and rail routes. Wolves, brought to near extinction by human depredation, remain rare but have re surged since 1970 as their importance in the wilderness ecosystem has come to be appreciated.
Plants in the Canadian Rockies- On the eastern slopes in Colorado and New Mexico, strong winter winds off the arid plains stunt and deform the scattered cedars and piñon pines. The lower elevations at this end of the system are predominantly treeless, except along watercourses, where cottonwoods and other broad-leaved, deciduous species cluster. Sagebrush occurs in valleys and basins as far north as southern Alberta.
Climate- Precipitation generally increases from south to north, with the north receiving about three times that of the south. In the south the climate tends to be dry, especially in the rain-shadow valleys. The San Luis Valley in Colorado, for example, has a mountain-desert climate and is one of the driest areas of the Rockies. Much of the total annual precipitation in the south falls as snow in winter, although characteristic of the summer are local, sometimes violent, afternoon thunderstorms. The Northern Rockies tend to receive precipitation more evenly throughout the year from Pacific cyclonic storms.
Endangered Species- An abundance of waterfowl—such as teal, snipe, numerous duck species, and the endangered trumpeter swan—spend the warm season on mountain lakes. Canada geese and white pelicans also spend a portion of the year in the region.
Sources- "Rocky Mountains." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.