Geography of West Virginia -The Ultimate Free Guide 2021
Learn facts and Geography of West Virginia including Major Geographical Features, Natural resources, Region, area, Capital, Border countries, rivers in West Virginia
- West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States.
- It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the northeast, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest.
- West Virginia is the 41st-largest state by area and ranks 40th in population, with a population of 1,793,716 residents
- The capital and largest city is Charleston.
- West Virginia became a state after the Wheeling Conventions of 1861, at the start of the American Civil War. Delegates from northwestern Virginia’s Unionist counties decided to break away from Virginia, which also included secessionist counties in the new state.
- West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio to form a tristate area, with Wheeling and Weirton just across the border from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Huntington in the southwest is close to Ohio and Kentucky, while Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle region are considered part of the Washington metropolitan area, between Maryland and Virginia.
- It is the only state entirely within the area served by the Appalachian Regional Commission; the area is commonly defined as “Appalachia”.
Geography of West Virginia
It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the northeast, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest.
24,230 sq mi
Longitude: 77° 40’W to 82° 40’W
Latitude: 37° 10’N to 40° 40’N
World Region or Continent:
- The Environment of West Virginia encompasses terrain and ecosystems ranging from plateaus to mountains. Most of West Virginia lies within the Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests ecoregion, while the higher elevations along the eastern border and in the panhandle lie within the Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests.
Geographical Low Point:
- The lowest point in West Virginia is the Potomac River at 240 feet above sea level.
Geographical High Point:
- The highest point in West Virginia is Spruce Knob at 4,863 feet above sea level. Click here for more about Spruce Knob.
- The climate of West Virginia is generally a humid subtropical climate with warm to hot, humid summers and chilly winters, increasing in severity with elevation.
- The hardiness zones range from zone 5b in the central Appalachian mountains to zone 7a in the warmest parts of the lowest elevations.
- Average January temperatures range from around 26 °F (−4 °C) near the Cheat River to 41 °F (5 °C) along sections of the border with Kentucky.
- July averages range from 67 °F (19 °C) along the North Branch Potomac River to 76 °F (24 °C) in the western part of the state.
- It is cooler in the mountains than in the lower sections of the state
- Annual precipitation ranges from less than 32 inches (810 mm) in the lower eastern section to more than 56 inches (1,400 mm) in higher parts of the Allegheny Front.
|Major Cities in West Virginia
Major Land forms:
24,087 square miles of West Virginia are land areas.
Major Rivers and Lakes:
- Ohio River,
- Guyandotte River,
- Greenbrier River
- Tygart Lake,
- Bluestone Lake
- Natural gas,
- Natural-gas liquids,
- Lime, and
- Sand and gravel.
Major Geographical Features:
Biomes & Ecosystems:
- Most of West Virginia lies within the Appalachian mixed mesophotic forests ecoregion, while the higher elevations along the eastern border and in the panhandle lie within the Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests. West Virginia is situated in the Appalachian Mountains of the Upper South region of the 48 contiguous states.
|Islands of West Virginia
|Coon Bone Island
|First Brother Island
|Fish Creek Island
|Mountains in West Virginia
|Back Allegheny Mountain
|Mount Porte Crayon
|Red Spruce Knob
|North Fork Mountain
Counties of West Virginia:
|Counties of West Virginia