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The highest elevation is near the Ohio border, at about 1,250 feet (380 metres) above sea level, while the lowest point, at roughly 330 feet (100 metres), is in the southwest where the Wabash River enters the Ohio River.About 90 percent of the land lies between 500 and 1,000 feet (150 and 300 metres).Indiana, constituent state of the United States of America. states in terms of total area and, except for Hawaii, is the smallest state west of the Appalachian Mountains.The state sits, as its motto claims, at “the crossroads of America.” It borders Lake Michigan and the state of Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south, and Illinois to the west, making it an integral part of the American Midwest. With a name that is generally thought to mean “land of the Indians,” Indiana was admitted on December 11, 1816, as the 19th state of the union. Today Indiana’s economy is based primarily on services, manufacturing, and, to a much lesser extent, agriculture.In the early 19th century Indiana was almost entirely covered with the deciduous hardwood forests common to the eastern United States.The nonforested portion of the state, primarily in the northwestern corner, consisted of grasslands—an extension into Indiana of the central Great Plains.
Spring, with its generally erratic and unstable weather, is the season with the greatest number of tornadoes.Annual precipitation varies from about 45 inches (1,150 mm) in the south-central region to about 37 inches (940 mm) in the north.Snow may fall over a six-month period and averages more than 20 inches (510 mm) annually, with the cities along the northern border often reporting more than 100 inches (2,540 mm).Many of Indiana’s people take pride in a self-image derived largely from 19th-century America that values hard work, is oriented to the small town and medium-sized city, and is interested in maintaining the prerogatives of local self-determination.It is not by coincidence that the Indianan’s nickname, Hoosier, remains a symbol in the country’s lore for a kind of homespun wisdom, wit, and folksiness that harks back to what is popularly regarded as a less-hurried and less-complicated period of history.
In January, daily temperatures in Jeffersonville, on the Ohio River in the south, usually rise from the low 20s F (about –6 °C) into the low 40s F (about 4 °C), while in South Bend, near Lake Michigan in the north, temperatures typically range from the mid-10s F (about −9 °C) to the low 30s F (about −1 °C).