A tornado is a rotating column of air, in contact with both the surface of the Earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. The windstorm is referred to as a twister, whirlwind or cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology to name a weather system with a low-pressure area in the center around which winds blow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern. Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, they are visible in the form of a condensation funnel originating from the base of a cumulonimbus cloud, with a cloud of rotating debris and dust beneath it. Most tornadoes have wind speeds less than 110 miles per hour, are about 250 feet across, travel a few miles before dissipating; the most extreme tornadoes can attain wind speeds of more than 300 miles per hour, are more than two miles in diameter, stay on the ground for dozens of miles. Various types of tornadoes include the multiple vortex tornado and waterspout. Waterspouts are characterized by a spiraling funnel-shaped wind current, connecting to a large cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud.
They are classified as non-supercellular tornadoes that develop over bodies of water, but there is disagreement over whether to classify them as true tornadoes. These spiraling columns of air develop in tropical areas close to the equator and are less common at high latitudes. Other tornado-like phenomena that exist in nature include the gustnado, dust devil, fire whirl, steam devil. Tornadoes occur most in North America in central and southeastern regions of the United States colloquially known as tornado alley, as well as in Southern Africa and southeast Europe and southeastern Australia, New Zealand and adjacent eastern India, southeastern South America. Tornadoes can be detected before or as they occur through the use of Pulse-Doppler radar by recognizing patterns in velocity and reflectivity data, such as hook echoes or debris balls, as well as through the efforts of storm spotters. There are several scales for rating the strength of tornadoes; the Fujita scale rates tornadoes by damage caused and has been replaced in some countries by the updated Enhanced Fujita Scale.
An F0 or EF0 tornado, the weakest category, damages trees, but not substantial structures. An F5 or EF5 tornado, the strongest category, rips buildings off their foundations and can deform large skyscrapers; the similar TORRO scale ranges from a T0 for weak tornadoes to T11 for the most powerful known tornadoes. Doppler radar data and ground swirl patterns may be analyzed to determine intensity and assign a rating; the word tornado comes from the Spanish word tornado. Tornadoes opposite phenomena are the derechoes. A tornado is commonly referred to as a "twister", is sometimes referred to by the old-fashioned colloquial term cyclone; the term "cyclone" is used as a synonym for "tornado" in the often-aired 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. The term "twister" is used in that film, along with being the title of the 1996 tornado-related film Twister. A tornado is "a violently rotating column of air, in contact with the ground, either pendant from a cumuliform cloud or underneath a cumuliform cloud, visible as a funnel cloud".
For a vortex to be classified as a tornado, it must be in contact with both the ground and the cloud base. Scientists have not yet created a complete definition of the word. Tornado refers to the vortex of wind, not the condensation cloud. A tornado is not visible; this results in the formation of a visible funnel condensation funnel. There is some disagreement over the definition of a condensation funnel. According to the Glossary of Meteorology, a funnel cloud is any rotating cloud pendant from a cumulus or cumulonimbus, thus most tornadoes are included under this definition. Among many meteorologists, the'funnel cloud' term is defined as a rotating cloud, not associated with strong winds at the surface, condensation funnel is a broad term for any rotating cloud below a cumuliform cloud. Tornadoes begin as funnel clouds with no associated strong winds at the surface, not all funnel clouds evolve into tornadoes. Most tornadoes produce strong winds at the surface while the visible funnel is still above the ground, so it is difficult to discern the difference between a funnel cloud and a tornado from a distance.
A single storm will produce more than one tornado, either or in succession. Multiple tornadoes produced by the same storm cell are referred to as a "tornado family". Several tornadoes are sometimes spawned from the same large-scale storm system. If there is no break in activity, this is considered a tornado outbreak. A period of several successive days with tornado outbreaks in the same general area is a tornado outbreak sequence called an extended tornado outbreak. Most tornadoes take on the appearance of a narrow funnel, a few hundred yards across, with a small cloud of debris near the ground. Tornadoes may
Indiana is a U. S. state located in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 17th most populous of the 50 United States, its capital and largest city is Indianapolis. Indiana was admitted to the United States as the 19th U. S. state on December 11, 1816. Indiana borders Lake Michigan to the northwest, Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south and southeast, Illinois to the west. Before becoming a territory, various indigenous peoples and Native Americans inhabited Indiana for thousands of years. Since its founding as a territory, settlement patterns in Indiana have reflected regional cultural segmentation present in the Eastern United States. Indiana has a diverse economy with a gross state product of $359.12 billion in 2017. Indiana has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 and a number of smaller industrial cities and towns. Indiana is home to professional sports teams, including the NFL's Indianapolis Colts and the NBA's Indiana Pacers, hosts several notable athletic events, such as the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 motorsports races.
The state's name means "Land of the Indians", or "Indian Land". It stems from Indiana's territorial history. On May 7, 1800, the United States Congress passed legislation to divide the Northwest Territory into two areas and named the western section the Indiana Territory. In 1816, when Congress passed an Enabling Act to begin the process of establishing statehood for Indiana, a part of this territorial land became the geographic area for the new state. A resident of Indiana is known as a Hoosier; the etymology of this word is disputed, but the leading theory, as advanced by the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Indiana Historical Society, has "Hoosier" originating from Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee as a term for a backwoodsman, a rough countryman, or a country bumpkin. The first inhabitants in what is now Indiana were the Paleo-Indians, who arrived about 8000 BC after the melting of the glaciers at the end of the Ice Age. Divided into small groups, the Paleo-Indians were nomads, they created stone tools made out of chert by chipping and flaking.
The Archaic period, which began between 5000 and 4000 BC, covered the next phase of indigenous culture. The people developed new tools as well as techniques to cook food, an important step in civilization; such new tools included different types of spear knives, with various forms of notches. They made ground-stone tools such as woodworking tools and grinding stones. During the latter part of the period, they built earthwork mounds and middens, which showed that settlements were becoming more permanent; the Archaic period ended at about 1500 BC, although some Archaic people lived until 700 BC. The Woodland period commenced around 1500 BC. During this period, the people created ceramics and pottery, extended their cultivation of plants. An early Woodland period group named the Adena people had elegant burial rituals, featuring log tombs beneath earth mounds. In the middle portion of the Woodland period, the Hopewell people began developing long-range trade of goods. Nearing the end of the stage, the people developed productive cultivation and adaptation of agriculture, growing such crops as corn and squash.
The Woodland period ended around 1000 AD. The Mississippian culture emerged, lasting from 1000 AD until the 15th century, shortly before the arrival of Europeans. During this stage, the people created large urban settlements designed according to their cosmology, with large mounds and plazas defining ceremonial and public spaces; the concentrated settlements depended on the agricultural surpluses. One such complex was the Angel Mounds, they had large public areas such as plazas and platform mounds, where leaders lived or conducted rituals. Mississippian civilization collapsed in Indiana during the mid-15th century for reasons that remain unclear; the historic Native American tribes in the area at the time of European encounter spoke different languages of the Algonquian family. They included the Shawnee and Illini, they were joined by refugee tribes from eastern regions including the Delaware who settled in the White and Whitewater River Valleys. In 1679, French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle was the first European to cross into Indiana after reaching present-day South Bend at the Saint Joseph River.
He returned the following year to learn about the region. French-Canadian fur traders soon arrived, bringing blankets, tools and weapons to trade for skins with the Native Americans. By 1702, Sieur Juchereau established the first trading post near Vincennes. In 1715, Sieur de Vincennes built Fort Miami at Kekionga, now Fort Wayne. In 1717, another Canadian, Picote de Beletre, built Fort Ouiatenon on the Wabash River, to try to control Native American trade routes from Lake Erie to the Mississippi River. In 1732, Sieur de Vincennes built a second fur trading post at Vincennes. French Canadian settlers, who had left the earlier post because of hostilities, returned in larger numbers. In a period of a few years, British colonists arrived from the East and contended against the Canadians for control of the lucrative fur trade. Fighting between the French and British colonists occurred throughout the 1750s as a result; the Native American tribes of Indiana sided with th
St. Louis is an independent city and major inland port in the U. S. state of Missouri. It is situated along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which marks Missouri's border with Illinois; the Missouri River merges with the Mississippi River just north of the city. These two rivers combined form the fourth longest river system in the world; the city had an estimated 2017 population of 308,626 and is the cultural and economic center of the St. Louis metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, the second-largest in Illinois, the 22nd-largest in the United States. Before European settlement, the area was a regional center of Native American Mississippian culture; the city of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by French fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau, named after Louis IX of France. In 1764, following France's defeat in the Seven Years' War, the area was ceded to Spain and retroceded back to France in 1800. In 1803, the United States acquired the territory as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
During the 19th century, St. Louis became a major port on the Mississippi River, it separated from St. Louis County in 1877, becoming an independent city and limiting its own political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the Summer Olympics; the economy of metropolitan St. Louis relies on service, trade, transportation of goods, tourism, its metro area is home to major corporations, including Anheuser-Busch, Express Scripts, Boeing Defense, Energizer, Enterprise, Peabody Energy, Post Holdings, Edward Jones, Go Jet and Sigma-Aldrich. Nine of the ten Fortune 500 companies based in Missouri are located within the St. Louis metropolitan area; this city has become known for its growing medical and research presence due to institutions such as Washington University in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. St. Louis has two professional sports teams: the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. One of the city's iconic sights is the 630-foot tall Gateway Arch in the downtown area.
The area that would become St. Louis was a center of the Native American Mississippian culture, which built numerous temple and residential earthwork mounds on both sides of the Mississippi River, their major regional center was at Cahokia Mounds, active from 900 to 1500. Due to numerous major earthworks within St. Louis boundaries, the city was nicknamed as the "Mound City"; these mounds were demolished during the city's development. Historic Native American tribes in the area included the Siouan-speaking Osage people, whose territory extended west, the Illiniwek. European exploration of the area was first recorded in 1673, when French explorers Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette traveled through the Mississippi River valley. Five years La Salle claimed the region for France as part of La Louisiane; the earliest European settlements in the area were built in Illinois Country on the east side of the Mississippi River during the 1690s and early 1700s at Cahokia and Fort de Chartres. Migrants from the French villages on the opposite side of the Mississippi River founded Ste.
Genevieve in the 1730s. In early 1764, after France lost the 7 Years' War, Pierre Laclède and his stepson Auguste Chouteau founded what was to become the city of St. Louis; the early French families built the city's economy on the fur trade with the Osage, as well as with more distant tribes along the Missouri River. The Chouteau brothers gained a monopoly from Spain on the fur trade with Santa Fe. French colonists used African slaves as domestic workers in the city. France, alarmed that Britain would demand French possessions west of the Mississippi and the Missouri River basin after the losing New France to them in 1759–60, transferred these to Spain as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain; these areas remained in Spanish possession until 1803. In 1780 during the American Revolutionary War, St. Louis was attacked by British forces Native American allies, in the Battle of St. Louis; the founding of St. Louis began in 1763. Pierre Laclede led an expedition to set up a fur-trading post farther up the Mississippi River.
Before Laclede had been a successful merchant. For this reason, he and his trading partner Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent were offered monopolies for six years of the fur trading in that area. Although they were only granted rights to set-up a trading post and other members of his expedition set up a settlement; some historians believe that Laclede's determination to create this settlement was the result of his affair with a married woman Marie-Thérèse Bourgeois Chouteau in New Orleans. Laclede on his initial expedition was accompanied by Auguste Chouteau; some historians still debate. The reason for this lingering question is that all the documentation of the founding was loaned and subsequently destroyed in a fire. For the first few years of St. Louis's existence, the city was not recognized by any of the governments. Although thought to be under the control of the Spanish government, no one asserted any authority over the settlement, thus St. Louis had no local government; this led Laclede to assume a position of civil control, all problems were disposed i
Gage County, Nebraska
Gage County is a county in the U. S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 22,311, its county seat is Beatrice. The county was created in 1855 and organized in 1857, it was formed from land taken from the Otoe in an 1854 treaty. The county was named for W. D. Gage, a Methodist minister. Gage County comprises the Beatrice, NE Micropolitan Statistical Area, in the Lincoln-Beatrice, NE Combined Statistical Area. In the Nebraska license plate system, Gage County is represented by the prefix 3. Gage County lies on the south line of Nebraska, its south boundary line abuts the north boundary line of the state of Kansas. The Big Blue River runs SSE through the central part of the county. According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 860 square miles, of which 851 square miles is land and 8.5 square miles is water. Homestead National Monument Rockford Lake State Recreation Area As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 22,993 people, 9,316 households, 6,204 families in the county.
The population density was 27 people per square mile. There were 10,030 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 97.69% White, 0.32% Black or African American, 0.58% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, 0.84% from two or more races. 0.85% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 56.6% were of German, 6.9% Irish, 6.3% English and 6.3% American ancestry. There were 9,316 households out of which 30.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.70% were married couples living together, 7.10% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.40% were non-families. 29.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.00% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.91. The county population contained 24.00% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 26.30% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, 19.20% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 94.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.40 males. The median income for a household in the county was $34,908, the median income for a family was $43,072. Males had a median income of $29,680 versus $21,305 for females; the per capita income for the county was $17,190. About 6.60% of families and 8.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.70% of those under age 18 and 8.00% of those age 65 or over. Beatrice Blue Springs Wymore Holmesville Prior to 1940, Gage County was a swing county, backing the national winner in every presidential election from 1900 to 1936. Since it has become a Republican stronghold, aside from the 1964 election in which Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson won the county in the midst of his national landslide victory. National Register of Historic Places listings in Gage County, Nebraska Oto Reservation Official website
Saline County, Nebraska
Saline County is a county in the U. S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 14,200, its county seat is Wilber. In the Nebraska license plate system, Saline County is represented by the prefix 22. Saline County was formed in 1855 and organized in 1867; the first permanent settler arrived in 1858. The terrain of Saline County is composed of low rolling hills, sloping to the east-southeast. Most of the county's area is devoted to agriculture; the Big Blue River flows southward in the eastern part of the county. The middle and southern parts of the county are drained by Swan Creek and Turkey Creek, which combine and discharge into Big Blue River at the county's east boundary line close to its SE corner; the county has an area of 576 square miles, of which 574 square miles is land and 2.3 square miles is water. Willard Meyer Natural Resource District - Swan Lake As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 13,843 people, 5,188 households, 3,507 families in the county.
The population density was 24 people per square mile. There were 5,611 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 92.99% White, 0.36% Black or African American, 0.38% Native American, 1.70% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.40% from other races, 1.15% from two or more races. 6.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 5,188 households out of which 32.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.50% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.40% were non-families. 27.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.30% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.04. The county population contained 25.10% under the age of 18, 12.30% from 18 to 24, 25.00% from 25 to 44, 20.30% from 45 to 64, 17.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.80 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.10 males. The median income for a household in the county was $35,914, the median income for a family was $44,199. Males had a median income of $30,467 versus $22,690 for females; the per capita income for the county was $16,287. About 6.40% of families and 9.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.90% of those under age 18 and 9.00% of those age 65 or over. Crete Friend Wilber Berks Pleasant Hill Shestak Since 1972, Saline County has been a swing county in presidential elections, voting for the national winner in all elections since aside from 1988 & 2012, it was a Democratic county, voting Republican only four times between 1900 and 1968. National Register of Historic Places listings in Saline County, Nebraska Saline County Courthouse - Renovation website County website Saline County at Curlie Saline County Courthouse - Renovation website
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States referred to as the American Midwest, Middle West, or the Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau. It occupies the northern central part of the United States, it was named the North Central Region by the Census Bureau until 1984. It is located between the Northeastern United States and the Western United States, with Canada to its north and the Southern United States to its south; the Census Bureau's definition consists of 12 states in the north central United States: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin. The region lies on the broad Interior Plain between the states occupying the Appalachian Mountain range and the states occupying the Rocky Mountain range. Major rivers in the region include, from east to west, the Ohio River, the Upper Mississippi River, the Missouri River. A 2012 report from the United States Census put the population of the Midwest at 65,377,684; the Midwest is divided by the Census Bureau into two divisions.
The East North Central Division includes Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, all of which are part of the Great Lakes region. The West North Central Division includes Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, several of which are located, at least within the Great Plains region. Chicago is the most populous city in the American Midwest and the third most populous in the entire country. Other large Midwestern cities include: Columbus, Detroit, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Cleveland, St. Louis, St. Paul, Cincinnati and Des Moines. Chicago and its suburbs form the largest metropolitan statistical area with 9.9 million people, followed by Metro Detroit, Minneapolis–St. Paul, Greater St. Louis, Greater Cleveland, Greater Cincinnati, the Kansas City metro area, the Columbus metro area; the term Midwestern has been in use since the 1880s to refer to portions of the central United States. A variant term, Middle West, has been used since the 19th century and remains common. Another term sometimes applied to the same general region is the heartland.
Other designations for the region have fallen out of use, such as the Northwest or Old Northwest and Mid-America. The Northwest Territory was one of the earliest territories of the United States, stretching northwest from the Ohio River to northern Minnesota and the upper-Mississippi; the upper-Mississippi watershed including the Missouri and Illinois Rivers was the setting for the earlier French settlements of the Illinois Country and the Ohio Country. Economically the region is balanced between heavy industry and agriculture, with finance and services such as medicine and education becoming important, its central location makes it a transportation crossroads for river boats, autos and airplanes. Politically, the region swings back and forth between the parties, thus is contested and decisive in elections. After the sociological study Middletown, based on Muncie, commentators used Midwestern cities as "typical" of the nation. Earlier, the rhetorical question, "Will it play in Peoria?", had become a stock phrase using Peoria, Illinois to signal whether something would appeal to mainstream America.
The region has a higher employment-to-population ratio than the Northeast, the West, the South, or the Sun Belt states as of 2011. Traditional definitions of the Midwest include the Northwest Ordinance Old Northwest states and many states that were part of the Louisiana Purchase; the states of the Old Northwest are known as Great Lakes states and are east-north central in the United States. The Ohio River runs along the southeastern section while the Mississippi River runs north to south near the center. Many of the Louisiana Purchase states in the west-north central United States, are known as Great Plains states, where the Missouri River is a major waterway joining with the Mississippi; the Midwest lies north of the 36°30′ parallel that the 1820 Missouri Compromise established as the dividing line between future slave and non-slave states. The Midwest Region is defined by the U. S. Census Bureau as these 12 states: Illinois: Old Northwest, Mississippi River, Ohio River, Great Lakes state Indiana: Old Northwest, Ohio River, Great Lakes state Iowa: Louisiana Purchase, Mississippi River, Missouri River state Kansas: Louisiana Purchase, Great Plains, Missouri River state Michigan: Old Northwest and Great Lakes state Minnesota: Old Northwest, Louisiana Purchase, Mississippi River, part of Red River Colony before 1818, Great Lakes state Missouri: Louisiana Purchase, Mississippi River, Missouri River, border state Nebraska: Louisiana Purchase, Great Plains, Missouri River state North Dakota: Louisiana Purchase, part of Red River Colony before 1818, Great Plains, Missouri River state Ohio: Old Northwest, Ohio River, Great Lakes state.
The southeastern part of the state is part of northern Appalachia South Dakota: Louisiana Purchase, Great Plains, Missouri River state Wisconsin: Old Northwest, Mississippi River, Great Lakes stateVarious organizations define the Midwest with different groups of states. For example, the Council of State Governments, an organization for communication and coordination among state governments, includes in its Midwe
Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included, it is home to the nation's capital city and the nation's most populous city, Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario is bordered by the province of Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, Quebec to the east and northeast, to the south by the U. S. states of Minnesota, Ohio and New York. All of Ontario's 2,700 km border with the United States follows inland waterways: from the west at Lake of the Woods, eastward along the major rivers and lakes of the Great Lakes/Saint Lawrence River drainage system; these are the Rainy River, the Pigeon River, Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec boundary just east of Cornwall, Ontario.
There is only about 1 km of land border made up of portages including Height of Land Portage on the Minnesota border. Ontario is sometimes conceptually divided into Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario; the great majority of Ontario's population and arable land is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation; the province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron word meaning "great lake", or skanadario, which means "beautiful water" in the Iroquoian languages. Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes; the province consists of three main geographical regions: The thinly populated Canadian Shield in the northwestern and central portions, which comprises over half the land area of Ontario. Although this area does not support agriculture, it is rich in minerals and in part covered by the Central and Midwestern Canadian Shield forests, studded with lakes and rivers. Northern Ontario is subdivided into two sub-regions: Northeastern Ontario.
The unpopulated Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast swampy and sparsely forested. Southern Ontario, further sub-divided into four regions. Despite the absence of any mountainous terrain in the province, there are large areas of uplands within the Canadian Shield which traverses the province from northwest to southeast and above the Niagara Escarpment which crosses the south; the highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations of over 500 m are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in Renfrew County; the Carolinian forest zone covers most of the southwestern region of the province. The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been replaced by agriculture and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is part of the Niagara Escarpment.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the Atlantic Ocean as far inland as Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario occupies 87 percent of the surface area of the province. Point Pelee is a peninsula of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario, the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in Lake Erie extend farther. All are south of 42°N – farther south than the northern border of California; the climate of Ontario varies by location. It is affected by three air sources: cold, arctic air from the north; the effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental. Ontario has three main climatic regions; the surrounding Great Lakes influence the climatic region of southern Ontario. During the fall and winter months, heat stored from the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the lakes.
This gives some parts of southern Ontario milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes. Parts of Southwestern Ontario have a moderate humid continental climate, similar to that of the inland Mid-Atlantic states and the Great Lakes portion of the Midwestern United States; the region has warm to cold winters. Annual precipitation is well distributed throughout the year. Most of this region lies in the lee of the Great Lakes. In December 2010, the snowbelt set a new record when it was h