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Geography of Alabama

Covering an area of 52,423 square miles, Alabama is the thirtieth-largest state in the United States. Mount Cheaha, located in the Cheaha State Park, is the highest point in Alabama.
General Features
Alabama is located in the eastern south-central United States. It has a total area of 51,705 square miles. It is bordered by Tennessee on the north, Georgia on the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico on the south, and Mississippi on the west. The geographic center of the state is in Chilton County.

The landscape of Alabama is made up of five major land areas:

  • East Gulf Coastal Plain: More than two-thirds of Alabama is covered by the East Gulf Coastal Plain. The area consists of lowlands and low ridges. Between the southern and northern east Coastal Plain lies the Black Belt Prairie, which is home to many plantations.

  • The Piedmont Upland: Located in the eastern central section of Alabama, the Piedmont Upland consists of low hills, ridges, and sandy valleys. Cheaha Mountain, the highest point in Alabama, is found in this region.

  • The Appalachian Ridge and Valley: The region along the northwest of the Piedmont is known as the Appalachian Ridge and Valley region of Alabama. This region comprises sandstone ridges and fertile limestone valleys. Coal, iron ore, and limestone are found in this area.

  • Cumberland Plateau: The area lies to the northwest of the Appalachian Ridge and Valley region. It is also known as the Appalachian Plateau.

  • Highland Rim: Also called the Low Interior Plateau, the Highland Rim lies in the northwestern corner of Alabama. This area is suitable for growing corn, cotton, and hay.

Area 52,423 square miles
Land Area 50,750 square miles
Water Area 1,673 square miles
Highest Point Cheaha Mountain (735 meters)
Lowest Point Gulf of Mexico
Geographic Center Chilton County

Climate
Alabama has a humid subtropical climate, with very hot summers and mild winters. There is copious precipitation throughout the year in the state. Summers are very hot and the maximum temperature recorded is 32 °C on September 5, 1925 at Centerville. Winters are cold and there is occasional snowfall. The lowest temperature registered in Alabama is -27°C on January 30, 1966 at New Market. Alabama receives an average of 56 inches of rainfall annually. The state is prone to extreme weather conditions; thunderstorms, tornadoes, and tropical storms are common.

Mountains
The landscape of Alabama comprises many mountains. Cheaha Mountain is the highest peak in the state, followed by Talladega Mountain, and Odum Point. The other major mountain ranges are:

  • Brindlee Mountain
  • Cheaha Mountain
  • Colvin Mountain
  • Georgia Mountain
  • Red Mountain
  • Monte Sano Mountain
  • Lookout Mountain

Rivers
Alabama has many rivers and water bodies. All the rivers of the state flow into the Gulf of Mexico. The major rivers are:
  • Tombigbee River
  • Alabama River
  • Tennessee River
  • Chattahoochee River
  • Yellow River
  • Blackwater River
  • Styx River

Lakes
The major lakes of Alabama are:
  • Guntersville Lake
  • Wilson Lake
  • Martin Lake
  • West Point Lake
  • Lewis Smith Lake