Zhejiang - Geography

Geography

Zhejiang consists mostly of hills, which account for about 70% of its total area. Altitudes tend to be the highest to the south and west, and the highest peak of the province, Huangmaojian Peak (1,929 metres (6,329 ft)), is located in the southwest. Mountains and mountain ranges in the province include the Yandang Mountains, Tianmu Mountain, Mount Tiantai, and Mount Mogan, which reach altitudes of 700 to 1,500 metres (2,300 to 4,900 ft).

Valleys and plains are found along the coastline and rivers. The north of the province lies just south of the Yangtze Delta, and consists of plains around the cities of Hangzhou, Jiaxing, and Huzhou, where the Grand Canal of China enters from the northern border to end at Hangzhou. Another relatively flat area is found along the Qujiang River around the cities of Quzhou and Jinhua. Major rivers include the Qiangtang and Oujiang Rivers. Most rivers carve out valleys in the highlands, with plenty of rapids and other features associated with such topography. Well-known lakes include the West Lake of Hangzhou and the South Lake of Jiaxing.

There are over three thousand islands along the rugged coastline of Zhejiang. The largest, Zhoushan Island, is Mainland China's third largest island, after Hainan and Chongming. There are also many bays, of which Hangzhou Bay is the largest.

Zhejiang has a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. Spring starts in March and is rainy with changeable weather. Summer, from June to September is long, hot, rainy, and humid. Fall is generally dry, warm and sunny. Winters are short but cold except in the far south. Average annual temperature is around 15 to 19°C (59 to 66°F), average January temperature is around 2 to 8°C (35 to 46°F), and average July temperature is around 27 to 30°C (81 to 86°F). Annual precipitation is about 1000 to 1900 mm (40 to 75 inches). There is plenty of rainfall in early summer, and by late summer Zhejiang is directly threatened by typhoons forming in the Pacific.

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