Maryland has an area of 12,407 sq. mi. (32,134 sq. km.), with inland water making up 680 sq. mi. (1,761 sq. km.) and coastal water making up 1,843 sq. mi. (4,773 sq. km.). Maryland's average elevation is 350 ft. (107 m.) above sea level, with a range in elevation from sea level on the Atlantic Ocean, to 3,360 ft. (1,024 sq. km.) at Backbone Mountain. Chesapeake Bay is an estuary (were salt water and fresh water meet). The Chesapeake region is a flat coastal plain, and the western edge has the Appalachian Mountains. The Chesapeake Bay divides Maryland in half. Maryland's three major land regions are the Appalachian Mountains, the Piedmont Plateau, and the Atlantic Coastal Plain.
The climate of Maryland is characterized by generally hot, humid summers and cool winters. In comparison with the eastern shore and other lowland areas, the upland sections in the west have colder and longer winters, and cooler and shorter summers. Baltimore's average annual temperature is about 55 degrees F (13 degrees C), with an average January temperature of 32 degrees F (0 degrees C), and an average July temperature of 76 degrees F (24 degrees C). The highest temperature recorded in the state was 109 degrees F (43 degrees C) on July 10, 1936 and the lowest temperature recorded in the state was minus 40 degrees F (minus 40 degrees C) on January 13, 1912. The average annual precipitation is 43 in. (109 cm.). The Atlantic Coastal Plain, warmed by the Gulf Stream, has a high humidity, with the majority of precipitation in the form of rain. Winter snowfall potential in the Appalachian Mountain region is 80 in. (203 cm.), but in the Piedmont Plateau it is only 10 in (25 cm.).
Tobacco is grown in the southern region. Much of the state grows corn, especially the Piedmont region. Soybeans are grown in the eastern region along with peaches, strawberries, and melons. Maryland's economy also relies on livestock and poultry, greenhouse products, and dairies. Manufacturing includes chemi-
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