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Nature Awareness, Requirement 7

Describe the basic climate of your region, the primary influences on your weather patterns, major economic resources of your region (for example, crops, minerals, ranching, tourism, manufacturing) and how are these affected by climate and weather conditions. (minimum 300 words)

The climate of Ohio is rather varied, with Lake Erie in the north and the Ohio River to the south. Additionally, there are a variety of hills, caves, and individual rivers that run through the state, and most of the state (which was once entirely forest) is now entirely agricultural.

Corn is grown mostly in the plains of the western part of the state, while dairy and general farming occurs throughout the rolling northeast and central areas. The hilly south and southeast of the state are primarily general farming, including tobacco and truck crops. The south receives the highest amount of precipitation due to topography and proximity to storm paths. Moist air is lifted over the hills and increases the rainfall, particularly in spring and winter. Snowfall is quite a bit heavier in the north due to Lake Erie, causing a 60 inch average snowfall in the north, compared to 16 inches or less near the Ohio River.

Most of the weather patterns are characterized by extremes of hot and cold, with the occasional 100 degree day in the summer and the occasional sub-zero day in the winter. The autumns are cool and dry, and the springs are wet. Precipitation is slightly above average for Ohio compared to the rest of the country. Ohio is prone to major and severe thunderstorms and line squalls, as well as tornados and other violent weather, particularly windstorms.

Flooding is somewhat common, major floods coming through at least once every three years. This has caused numerous construction projects for holding back the waters, the most recent and notable being the Franklin Township floodwall here in Columbus, which includes a system of interlocking gates to protect the low lying areas of Franklin Township. Flooding rarely occurs between August and October, though it is very common between January and March. Part of this is the increased precipitation, and part is the ice gorges that occur in tributary streams to the larger rivers.



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