North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America; on the Canadian border halfway between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. North Dakota is the 19th largest state by area in the U.S.; it is the 3rd least populous, with just over 641,481 residents as of 2008. North Dakota was carved out of the northern half of the Dakota Territory and admitted to the Union on November 2, 1889. The Missouri River flows through the western part of the state and forms Lake Sakakawea behind the Garrison Dam. The western half of the state is hilly and contains lignite coal and oil. In the east, the Red River forms the Red River Valley, holding fertile farmland. Agriculture has long dominated the economy and culture of North Dakota. The state capital is Bismarck and the largest city is Fargo. The primary public universities are located in Grand Forks and Fargo. The United States Air Force operates bases at both Minot and Grand Forks.
Flag of North Dakota
Cruisin'' Downtown, Fargo
Edgewood Golf Course, Wahpeton
Fall River Path, Mandan Trail, Bismarck
Hunter''''s Paradise, Verona
Independence Day Symphony , Bismarck
Learning to Ski, Mandan
NORTH DAKOTA MAP
Seal of North Dakota
Now What Wayne Vedvig
the Wild Prairie Rose
North Dakota is considered to be in the U.S. regions known as the Upper Midwest and the Great Plains, and is sometimes referred to as being the "High Plains". The state shares the Red River of the North with Minnesota on the east; South Dakota is to the south, Montana is to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are north. It sits essentially in the middle of North America, and in fact a stone marker in Rugby, North Dakota, identifies it as being the "Geographic Center of the North American Continent". With 70,762 square miles (183,273 km2), North Dakota is the 19th largest state.
The western half of the state consists of the hilly Great Plains, and the northern part of the Badlands to the west of the Missouri River. The state's high point, White Butte at 3,506 feet (1,069 m), and Theodore Roosevelt National Park are located in the Badlands. The region is abundant in fossil fuels including crude oil and lignite coal. The Missouri River forms Lake Sakakawea, the third largest man-made lake in the United States, behind the Garrison Dam. The central region of the state is divided into the Drift Prairie and the Missouri Plateau. This area is covered in lakes, slough, and rolling hills. The Turtle Mountains are located along the Manitoba border. The geographic center of the North American continent is located near the city of Rugby.
The eastern part of the state consists of the flat Red River Valley, the bottom of glacial Lake Agassiz. Its fertile soil, drained by the meandering Red River flowing northward into Lake Winnipeg, supports a large agriculture industry. Devils Lake, the largest natural lake in the state, is also found in the east. Overall, North Dakota is a very flat state, however, there are some significant hills and buttes in the western half of the state. Most of the state was covered in grassland (and today, mostly with farmland); only 2% of North Dakota was historically forest.
North Dakota endures some of the most extreme temperature variations on the planet, characteristic of its continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers: the record low temperature is −60 °F (−51.1 °C) and the record high temperature is 121 °F (49 °C). Meteorological events include rain, snow, hail, blizzards, polar fronts, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and high-velocity straight-line winds. Depending on location, average annual precipitation ranges from 14 in (35.6 cm) to 22 in (55.9 cm).
Springtime flooding is a relatively common event in the Red River Valley, because of the river flowing north into Canada, creating ice jams. The spring melt and the eventual runoff typically begins earlier in the southern part of the valley than in the northern part. The most destructive flooding in eastern North Dakota occurred in 1997. North Dakota is largely semiarid; however the low temperatures and snowpack prevents the state from having a xeric character.