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Geography

Map of Nebraska.
Forested hills in the Pine Ridge region of Nebraska.


The state is bordered by South Dakota to the north; Iowa to the east and Missouri to the southeast, across the Missouri River; Kansas to the south; Colorado to the southwest; and Wyoming to the west. The state has 93 counties; it occupies the central portion of the Frontier Strip. Nebraska is split into two time zones, with the eastern half of the state observing Central Time and the western half observing Mountain Time. Three rivers cross the state from west to east. The Platte River, formed by the confluence of the North Platte and the South Platte, runs through the central portion of the state, the Niobrara River flows through the northern part, and the Republican River runs across the southern part. Nebraska is composed of two major land regions: the Dissected Till Plains and the Great Plains. The easternmost portion of the state was scoured by Ice Age glaciers; the Dissected Till Plains were left behind after the glaciers retreated. The Dissected Till Plains is a region of gently rolling hills; Omaha and Lincoln are in this region. The Great Plains occupy the majority of western Nebraska. The Great Plains region consists of several smaller, diverse land regions, including the Sandhills, the Pine Ridge, the Rainwater Basin, the High Plains and the Wildcat Hills. Panorama Point, at 5,424 feet (1,653 m), is the highest point in Nebraska; despite its name and elevation, it is a relatively low rise near the Colorado and Wyoming borders. A past Nebraska tourism slogan was "Where the West Begins"; locations given for the beginning of the "West" include the Missouri River, the intersection of 13th and O Streets in Lincoln (where it is marked by a red brick star), the 100th meridian, and Chimney Rock.

Federal land management

Areas under the management of the National Park Service include:

Areas under the management of the National Forest Service include:

Climate

Clouds over a country road in Cass County, Nebraska.

Two major climatic zones are represented in Nebraska: the eastern half of the state has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa), and the western half, a semi-arid climate (Koppen BSk). The entire state experiences wide seasonal variations in temperature and precipitation. Average temperatures are fairly uniform across Nebraska, with hot summers and generally cold winters.

Average annual precipitation decreases east to west from about 31.5 inches (800 mm) in the southeast corner of the state to about 13.8 inches (350 mm) in the Panhandle. Humidity also decreases significantly from east to west. Snowfall across the state is fairly even, with most of Nebraska receiving between 25 and 35 inches (65 and 90 cm) of snow annually.<ref>[1] Archived August 9, 2015 at the Wayback Machine</ref> Nebraska's highest recorded temperature is {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} at Minden on July 24, 1936 and the lowest recorded temperature is {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} at Camp Clarke on February 12, 1899.

Nebraska is in Tornado Alley; thunderstorms are common in the spring and summer months, and violent thunderstorms and tornadoes happen primarily during the spring and summer, though they can also occur in the autumn. The chinook winds from the Rocky Mountains provide a temporary moderating effect on temperatures in western Nebraska during the winter months.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


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