Miami Travel Guide

Geography

Miami and its suburbs are located on a broad plain between the Florida Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east, which also extends from Florida Bay north to Lake Okeechobee. The elevation of the area never rises above and averages at around above mean sea level in most neighborhoods, especially near the coast. The highest undulations are found along the coastal Miami Rock Ridge, whose substrate underlies most of the eastern Miami metropolitan region. The main portion of the city lies on the shores of Biscayne Bay which contains several hundred natural and artificially created barrier islands, the largest of which contains Miami Beach and South Beach. The Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current, runs northward just off the coast, allowing the city's climate to stay warm and mild all year.

Geology

The surface bedrock under the Miami area is called Miami oolite or Miami limestone. This bedrock is covered by a thin layer of soil, and is no more than thick. Miami limestone formed as the result of the drastic changes in sea level associated with recent glaciations or ice ages. Beginning some 130,000 years ago the Sangamonian Stage raised sea levels to approximately above the current level. All of southern Florida was covered by a shallow sea. Several parallel lines of reef formed along the edge of the submerged Florida plateau, stretching from the present Miami area to what is now the Dry Tortugas. The area behind this reef line was in effect a large lagoon, and the Miami limestone formed throughout the area from the deposition of oolites and the shells of bryozoans. Starting about 100,000 years ago the Wisconsin glaciation began lowering sea levels, exposing the floor of the lagoon. By 15,000 years ago, the sea level had dropped to 300 to below the contemporary level. The sea level rose quickly after that, stabilizing at the current level about 4000 years ago, leaving the mainland of South Florida just above sea level.

Beneath the plain lies the Biscayne Aquifer, a natural underground source of fresh water that extends from southern Palm Beach County to Florida Bay, with its highest point peaking around the cities of Miami Springs and Hialeah. Most of the Miami metropolitan area obtains its drinking water from this aquifer. As a result of the aquifer, it is not possible to dig more than beneath the city without hitting water, which impedes underground construction. For this reason, the mass transit systems in and around Miami are elevated or at-grade.

Most of the western fringes of the city extend into the Everglades, a subtropical marshland located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Florida. Alligators have ventured into Miami communities and on major highways.

In terms of land area, Miami is one of the smallest major cities in the United States. According to the US Census Bureau, the city encompasses a total area of . Of that area, is land and is water. That means Miami comprises over 400,000 people in, making it one of the most densely populated cities in the United States, along with New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Miami is located at .

Climate

Miami has a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen climate classification Am) with hot and humid summers and short, warm winters, with a marked drier season in the winter. Its sea-level elevation, coastal location, position just above the Tropic of Cancer, and proximity to the Gulf Stream shapes its climate. With January averaging, winter features mild to warm temperatures; cool air usually settles after the passage of a cold front, which produces much of the little amount of rainfall. Lows sometimes fall below, but very rarely below . Highs generally range between . The wet season begins some time in May, ending in mid-October. During this period, temperatures are in the mid 80s to low 90s (29–35 °C), accompanied by high humidity, though the heat is often relieved by afternoon thunderstorms or a sea breeze that develops off the Atlantic Ocean, which then allow lower temperatures, but conditions still remain very muggy. Much of the year's of rainfall occurs during this period.

Extremes range from on February 3, 1917 to on July 21, 1940. Miami has never recorded any snowfall although there were disputed claims of snow flurries on January 19, 1977.

Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30, although hurricanes can develop beyond those dates. The most likely time for Miami to be hit is during the peak of the Cape Verde season, which is mid-August through the end of September. Although tornadoes are uncommon in the Miami area, a tornado struck the city in 1925 and again in 1997.

source: Wikipedia

Things To Do in Miami See All Things To Do in Miami

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Hotels in Miami (124 Hotels) See All Miami Hotels

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