Pearl Amidst The Ocean
In general, North America is much wetter east of the 100th meridian than to the west. Charleston, S.C., receives 102 centimetres of precipitation annually; Cleveland, Ohio, 79 centimetres; and Omaha, Neb., 64 centimetres. But Denver, Colo., receives only 36 centimetres and Yuma, Ariz., less than 10 centimetres. Most of the precipitation at these stations comes in the summer. In California and the Pacific Northwest much of the precipitation is likely to come in the winter. San Francisco receives slightly more than 51 centimetres of rain annually; 38 centimetres of it fall between December and March. The summer months are dry. Vancouver, B.C., receives 145 centimetres, more than half of it between October and February. A unique feature of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico is the hurricane, whose tracks sweep over the West Indies, often striking the mainland between Texas and Florida, North Carolina, and New England.