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Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a state located in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The commonwealth borders Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.
Pennsylvania is the 33rd largest, the 5th most populous, and the 9th most densely populated of the 50 United States. The state’s five most populous cities are Philadelphia (1,560,297), Pittsburgh (305,801), Allentown (118,577), Erie (100,671), and Reading (89,893). The state capital, and its ninth-largest city, is Harrisburg. Pennsylvania has 140 miles (225 km) of shoreline along Lake Erie and the Delaware Estuary.
The state is one of the 13 original founding states of the United States; it came into being in 1681 as a result of a royal land grant to William Penn, the son of the state’s namesake. Part of Pennsylvania (along the Delaware River), together with the present State of Delaware, had earlier been organized as the Colony of New Sweden. It was the second state to ratify the United States Constitution, on December 12, 1787. Independence Hall, where the United States Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were drafted, is located in the state’s largest city of Philadelphia. During the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, was fought in the south central region of the state. Valley Forge near Philadelphia was General Washington’s headquarters during the bitter winter of 1777–78.
Pennsylvania is 170 miles (274 km) north to south and 283 miles (455 km) east to west. Of a total 46,055 square miles (119,282 km2), 44,817 square miles (116,075 km2) are land, 490 square miles (1,269 km2) are inland waters, and 749 square miles (1,940 km2) are waters in Lake Erie. It is the 33rd largest state in the United States. Pennsylvania has 51 miles (82 km) of coastline along Lake Erie and 57 miles (92 km) of shoreline along the Delaware Estuary.
The boundaries of the state are the Mason–Dixon line (39° 43′ N) to the south, the Twelve-Mile Circle on the Pennsylvania-Delaware border, the Delaware River to the east, 80° 31′ W to the west and the 42° N to the north, with the exception of a short segment on the western end, where a triangle extends north to Lake Erie.
Cities include Philadelphia, Reading, Lebanon and Lancaster in the southeast, Pittsburgh in the southwest, the tri-cities of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton in the central east (known as the Lehigh Valley). The northeast includes the former anthracite coal mining communities of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pittston City (Greater Pittston), and Hazleton. Erie is located in the northwest. Williamsport serves as the commonwealth’s north-central region, with York and the state capital Harrisburg on the Susquehanna River in the east-central region of the Commonwealth and Altoona and Johnstown in the west-central region.
The state has 5 regions, namely the Allegheny Plateau, Ridge and Valley, Atlantic Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and the Erie Plain.
Pennsylvania’s diverse topography also produces a variety of climates, though the entire state experiences cold winters and humid summers. Straddling two major zones, the majority of the state, with the exception of the southeastern corner, has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa). The largest city, Philadelphia, has some characteristics of the humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) that covers much of Delaware and Maryland to the south.
Moving toward the mountainous interior of the state, the winter climate becomes colder, the number of cloudy days increase, and snowfall amounts are greater. Western areas of the state, particularly locations near Lake Erie, can receive over 100 inches (250 cm) of snowfall annually, and the entire state receives plentiful precipitation throughout the year. The state may be subject to severe weather from spring through summer into fall. Tornadoes occur annually in the state, sometimes in large numbers, such as 30 recorded tornadoes in 2011.

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