ecoregion comparison project
by bailey shelton
the great plains general information
In general, the Great Plains have a wide variety of weather through the year, with very cold and harsh winters and very hot and humid summers. Wind speeds are often very high, especially in winter. Grasslands are among the least protected biomes. Humans have converted much of the prairies for agricultural purposes or to create pastures. The Great Plains have dust storms mostly every year or so.
The 100th meridian roughly corresponds with the line that divides the Great Plains into an area that receive 20 inches (510 millimetres) or more of rainfall per year and an area that receives less than 20 in (510 mm). In this context, the High Plains, as well as Southern Alberta, south-western Saskatchewan and Eastern Montana are mainly semi hot steppe land and are generally characterised by rangeland or marginal farmland. The region (especially the High Plains) is periodically subjected to extended periods of drought; high winds in the region may then generate devastating dust storms. The eastern Great Plains near the eastern boundary falls in the humid subtropical climate zone in the southern areas, and the northern and central areas fall in the humid continental climate.
Many thunderstorms occur in the plains in the spring through summer. The southeastern portion of the Great Plains is the most tornado active area in the world and is sometimes referred to as Tornado Alley.
General information about the pan Handel plains
Palo Duro Canyon and Caprock Canyons State Parks are in this region. The remarkable canyons were carved by rivers. They are sometimes called "inverterted mountains" since the land is relatively flat until you reach the long and steep canyons in the ground.
Regional Average Rainfall: 15-28 in./yr
Data source: National Climate Datat Center, U.S. Dept of Commerce.
Abilene - 23.78 in / 1,790 ft
Amarillo - 19.716 in / 3,586 ft
Borger - 21.984 in / 3,140 ft
Boys Ranch - 18.18 in / 3,191 ft
Brownwood - 28.32 in / 1,385 ft
Clarendon - 23.89 in / 2,700 ft
Lamesa - 19.07 in / 2,965 ft
Lubbock - 18.69 in / 3,254 ft
Memphis - 22.51 in / 2,090 ft
Midland - 14.80 in. / 2,862 ft
Muleshoe - 17.37 in / 3,825 ft
Paducah - 24.11 in / 1,900 ft
Perryton - -20.88 in / 2,942 ft