CLIMATE & CLIMATE ZONES

Climate

The climate of a tropical rainforest is generally very hot and humid.

Rainforests typically get anywhere from 66 inches to 390 inches of rainfall a year (168 – 1,000 centimeters), and have an average humidity of 85%. Humidity generally goes down during the day, sometimes dropping into the upper 70th percentile; whereas it generally rises at night, sometimes getting into the mid to upper 90th percentile. Rainforests are generally considered to be the wettest places on the planet, as they receive rain almost every day.

The average temperature in a rainforest is about 80 degrees fahrenheit, (27 degrees celsius), with temperatures rarely dropping below 64 degrees fahrenheit (18 degrees celsius) and rarely rising above 93 degrees fahrenheit (34 degrees celsius). The forests rarely experience major changes in their climate.

Rainforests do have a brief period in the year where there is less rain. In areas where monsoons are common, there is actually a dry season.

Rainforests are capable of creating their own mini-climates, because the water that evaporates from the forest sometimes forms clouds that stay roughly in the same area. For example, 50-80% of water from the Amazon Rainforest in South America stays in the local ecosystem’s water cycle.

Climate Zones

Tropical rainforests are also known as equatorial, meaning all rainforests are located near the equator, in the Tropic Zone – from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn

There are three main groups of rainforests – Neotropical (Central and South America), African (Zaire Basin, an outlier in Western Africa, and Eastern Madagascar), and Indo-Malaysian (West coast of India, Assam, southeast Asia, New Guinea, and Queensland [Australia]). Each of these differs slightly from the rest, even though they are all technically within the same “zone”.

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