Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
MASSACHUSETTS HAS AN area of 10,555 sq. mi. (2,737 sq. Ion.), with inland water making up 423 sq. mi. (1,095 sq. Ion.), and coastal water making up 977 sq. mi. (2,530 sq. Ion.), and access to territorial water of 1,314 sq. mi. (3,403 sq. km.). Massachusetts's average elevation is 500 ft. (152 m.) above sea level, and most of the state is quite level. Massachusetts has several river systems, and many lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. Massachusetts has a humid, continental climate, with long, hot summers and cold winters. New England weather and climate are influenced by latitude (warm, moist air from the south and cold, dry air to the north), coastal orientation (position within the zone of the westerlies), and elevation changes. The sea breeze circulation, particularly along the east coast, tends to mitigate frequencies and intensities of thunderstorms in the coastal zone, while bringing relief in the form of ...