Alabama is one of the East South-Central states of the United States, bounded on the north by Tennessee, and on the east by Georgia. It is bound on the south by Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, and on the west by Mississippi. Alabama is a state that is rectangular in shape, measuring about 280 miles from north to south, and about 200 miles from east to west.
The highest region of Alabama is in the northeast where the Appalachian Mountains, the Cumberland Plateau, and the Piedmont Plateau extend into the state. Ranges of this area are the Sand Mountains, Lookout Mountains, and the Talladega Mountains. The highest point of the state is Cheaha Mountain, (totaling 2407 feet,) in the east., in Cheaha State Park, which is south of Anniston. A geological boundary separates the Appalachian region from the sloping Gulf coastal plain, running from the northwest corner in a curving line to Phenix City on the Georgia border.
Rivers of Alabama are comrpised of three groups. There is the Tennessee River, the Mobile River and its tributaries, and other rivers that empty into the Gulf of Mexico. The Tennessee River enters Alabama in the northeast and makes a broad loop across the state, flowing out in the northwest corner. Its course is marked by dams and artificial lakes of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which includes Guntersville, Wheeler, and Wilson dams and lakes. The Tombigee River enters Alabama in the west-central section and receives the Sipsey, Black Warrior, and Alabama Rivers.
Alabama has a temperate climate, which becomes subtropical near the coast. The summers there are long, hot, and humid, with little every day temperature changes. In the northeast, higher altitudes help cool the summer nights, and from late June through mid-August occasional afternoon thundershowers bring cool breezes. Winters are normally mild, the coldest months being December, January, and February.
There are some 4500 types of plants, shrubs, and trees that are found in Alabama. Nearly all of these are native to the state. Forests cover about 63.5 percent of the area. Of about 125 kinds of trees, pines are the most common. Among other important trees are oak, hickory, gum, cypress, American holly, and the southern magnolia.
The chief cities in Alabama are Montgomery, which is the capital and fourth largest city, an agricultural and lumber trade center; Birmingham, which is the largest city, a center of the steel industry, and then Mobile, the second largest city, and the state’s only seaport, a center of maritime and other industries. The third largest city in Alabama would be Huntsville, a textile center and the site of George C. Marshall Space Flight Center.