ONE OF THE LARGEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD
The United States is one of the largest countries in the world. Its whole name is the United States of America but for short, the country is often called the USA. The United States is situated in the central part of the North American continent. It stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, from Canada in the north to Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Gulf of California in the south. Canada to the north and Mexico to the south are the only countries bordering on the United States.
The USA is an extremely large country in North America. Its total area is over nine million square kilometers. The USA consists of three separate parts. They are the Hawaiian Islands, situated in the central part of the Pacific Ocean, Alaska, separated by the Canadian territory, and the rest major part of the USA. It possesses a lot of islands in the Pacific Ocean and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the Atlantic.
The continental part of the USA consists of four physical geographical parts: two highland and two lowland regions. The highland regions are the Appalachian Mountains in the east, and the Cordillera and the Rocky Mountains in the west. The highest peak in the Appalachian Mountains is 2.037 metres high. The highest peak of the Cordillera in the USA is 4.418 metres high. The Appalachian Mountains are very old. The Rocky Mountains are considered to be young, high, rough, and irregular in shape. Between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains there are the central lowlands, called the prairie, and the eastern lowlands, called the Mississippi valley.
The United States is a land of rivers and lakes. The northern state of Minnesota is the land of 10 000 lakes. The five Great Lakes, between the USA and Canada, include Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. They are all joined together by short rivers or canals, and the St. Lawrence River joins them to the Atlantic Ocean. In the west of the USA there is another lake called the Great Salt Lake.
The main rivers of the USA are the Mississippi, flowing south to the Gulf of Mexico; the Missouri, one of the Mississippi’s many long tributaries, flowing into the Mississippi; the Rio Grande, flowing along the boundary between Texas and Mexico into the Gulf of Mexico; the Yukon, flowing northwest and then southwest from Canada through Alaska to the Bering Sea; the Colorado, flowing into the Gulf of California; the Columbia, flowing into the Pacific Ocean, and the St. Lawrence River and the Hudson River, flowing into the Atlantic Ocean.
The USA is a country of great diversity. Being a very large country, it has several different climate zones. The coldest regions are in the north and northeast, where much snow falls in winter. The south has a subtropical climate. Hot winds blowing from the Gulf of Mexico often bring typhoons. The climate along the Pacific coast is much warmer than that of the Atlantic coast. The region around the Great Lakes is known for its changeable weather. In general, the climate in North America is much colder than in Europe and the average annual temperature of New York, for example, is 11°С.
In the East the principal trees are spruce, poplar, birch and fir. The Northern Appalachians and the upper Great Lakes region are dominated by mixed forests of birch, beech, maple, hemlock, and pine. Much of southern Florida and the lower Mississippi River valley are covered by marsh grasses.