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Western Pacific Coastal Plain, Hills, and Canyons

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NameColor on MapCEC Code‡
Sinaloa Coastal Plain with Low Tropical Thorn Forest and Wetlands14.3.1
Sinaloa and Sonora Hills and Canyons with Xeric Shrub and Low Tropical Deciduous Forest14.3.2

† Status: ✓ = Complete ○ = Needs Image … = Incomplete ∅ = Stub Only

This code refers to the CEC's Level 3 ecoregion codes for North America, see here.


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About the Western Pacific Coastal Plain, Hills, and Canyons

The Western Pacific Coastal Plain, Hills, and Canyons is a level II ecoregion located on the west coast of Mexico, from southeast Sonora, through most of Sinaloa, with a few canyons stretching slightly farther inland.

This region has a semiarid climate with a pronounced seasonality of precipitation; nearly all of the rainfall occurs in a short rainy season from July through September, occasionally a bit later. The rest of the year is very dry. This weather pattern is driven by a persistent high pressure system off the west coast of North America, centered a bit north of here, that moves south in winter, and north in summer. Rainfall is occasionally brought from tropical cyclones. The elevation here is mostly low. Temperatures are hot, and relative humidity is high even in the dry season.

This area was originally mostly covered by tropical dry forests. Much of the land has been cleared for agriculture, with cropland most common in low-lying coastal areas. As one moves inland, there are more forests. The coastal areas also contain wetlands and barrier islands.

Northwest along the coast, this region transitions gradually into the Warm Deserts, particularly, the Sonoran desert. Southeast along the coast, it transitions into the more consistently-wet Western Pacific Plain and Hills. Moving inland and uphill, this region borders the Western Sierra Madre mountains; this border is long and irreguluar, with the tropical dry forest extending deep inland along canyons. The northernmost part of this region borders the Western Sierra Madre Piedmont to the north.