Oklahoma has a generally temperate climate, with the cooler regions located in the north. Statewide average temperature is 60 degrees, but temperatures may dip below zero in the winter and soar to 100 in the summer. While the east and south are more humid, the west is dry. Rainfall varies from 15 inches in the northwest to more than 50 inches in the southeast. Statewide annual precipitation is 33.79 inches. Snowfalls, ranging from two inches a year in the southeast to 25 inches in the northwest, rarely remain on the ground for more than a few days. The growing season ranges from 170 days in the northwest to 240 days in the south central part of the state.
Located just south of the geographic center of the United States, Oklahoma is equidistant from Los Angeles and New York City. The Great Plains state exemplifies 11 distinct ecological regions, with terrain including flat, fertile plains, sand dunes, high mesas, dense forests, cypress swamps, rolling hills, and mountains covered in rock or trees.
Black Mesa, the highest elevation in the state, stands 4,973 feet above sea level in the far northwest; the lowest elevation, 289 feet, is located near Idabel in the extreme southeast. Oil and natural gas wells can be seen throughout much of the state. Oklahoma plains also host large herds of cattle and vast wheat fields.