New York City Travel Guide

Geography

New York City is in the Northeastern United States, in southeastern New York State, approximately halfway between Washington, D.C. and Boston. The location at the mouth of the Hudson River, which feeds into a naturally sheltered harbor and then into the Atlantic Ocean, has helped the city grow in significance as a trading port. Much of New York is built on the three islands of Manhattan, Staten Island, and Long Island, making land scarce and encouraging a high population density.

The Hudson River flows through the Hudson Valley into New York Bay. Between New York City and Troy, New York, the river is an estuary. The Hudson separates the city from New Jersey. The East River—a tidal strait—flows from Long Island Sound and separates the Bronx and Manhattan from Long Island. The Harlem River, another tidal strait between the East and Hudson Rivers, separates most of Manhattan from the Bronx. The Bronx River, which flows through the Bronx and Westchester County, is the only entirely fresh water river in the city.

The city's land has been altered substantially by human intervention, with considerable land reclamation along the waterfronts since Dutch colonial times. Reclamation is most prominent in Lower Manhattan, with developments such as Battery Park City in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of the natural relief in topography has been evened out, especially in Manhattan.

The city's total area is . of this is water and is land.

The highest point in the city is Todt Hill on Staten Island, which, at above sea level, is the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard south of Maine. The summit of the ridge is mostly covered in woodlands as part of the Staten Island Greenbelt.

Climate

Under the Köppen climate classification, using the coldest month (January) isotherm, New York City itself experiences a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), and New York is thus the northernmost major city on the North American continent with this categorization. The suburbs to the immediate north and west lie in the transition zone from a humid subtropical (Cfa) to a humid continental climate (Dfa). The area averages 234 days with at least some sunshine annually, and averages 58% of possible sunshine annually, accumulating 2,400 to 2,800 hours of sunshine per annum.

Winters are cold and damp, and prevailing wind patterns that blow offshore minimize the moderating effects of the Atlantic Ocean; yet the Atlantic and the partial shielding of the Appalachians keep the city warmer in the winter than inland North American cities at similar or lesser latitudes such as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. The average daily high temperature in January, the area's coldest month, is ; however, winter temperatures can occasionally reach as low as, and January temperatures have reached the low 70s (Fahrenheit). Spring and autumn are unpredictable and can range from chilly to warm, although they are usually mild with low humidity. Summers are typically warm to hot and humid, with an average daily July high temperature of . Nighttime conditions are often exacerbated by the urban heat island phenomenon, while daytime temperatures exceed on average of 17 days each summer and can exceed . Extreme temperatures have ranged from, recorded on February 9, 1934, up to on July 9, 1936.

The city receives of precipitation annually, which is fairly spread throughout the year.

Average winter snowfall for 1981 to 2010 has been, but this usually varies considerably from year to year. Hurricanes and tropical storms are rare in the New York area, but are not unheard of and always have the potential to strike the area. Hurricane Sandy brought a destructive storm surge to New York City on the evening of October 29, 2012, flooding numerous streets, tunnels, and subway lines in Lower Manhattan and other areas of the city and cutting off electricity in many parts of the city and its suburbs. The storm and its profound impacts have prompted the discussion of constructing seawalls and other coastal barriers around the shorelines of the city and the metropolitan area to minimize the risk of destructive consequences from another such event in the future.

source: Wikipedia

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