- Temperature The boreal forest has very long, cold winters and short, mild summers. Because of its northern location, cold air coming down from the arctic creates frigid winters that last for 6 or 7 months. Winter temperatures range from a high of 30 to a low of -65 degrees F (-1 to -54 degrees C), while in the summer, temperatures range from a high of 70 to a low of 30 degrees F (21 to -1 degrees C). Average temperatures remain below freezing for more than six months of the year, and the average overall yearly temperature is 32 degrees F (0 degrees C).
- Sunlight Since boreal forests are found in the northern regions, they may receive up to 20 hours of sunlight per day in the summer, while during the winter daylight is limited to just a few short hours. The conditions of long days and mild temperatures during the summer allow a rapid burst of plant growth, but the summer growing season lasts for only about 3 months before temperatures begin to drop.
- Precipitation The boreal forests receives between 20 and 200 centimeters (8 to 79 inches) of precipitation per year. Since the cold winter season is longer than the summer, most of the precipitation occurs in the form of snow.
- Soil Conditions The soil of the boreal forest is acidic, due to fallen conifer needles that accumulate on the forest floor. It is also poor in nutrients, which limits the number and types of plants that are able to grow there to those that can tolerate such soil conditions. The ground is swampy or marshy in many parts of the boreal forest because the snow melts late in the spring and the short, cool and rainy summers do not allow the water on the ground to completely evaporate.