Ohio is a Midwestern state of the United States. Part of the Great Lakes region, Ohio has long been a cultural and geographical crossroads. At the time of European contact and in the years that followed, Native Americans in today's Ohio included the Iroquois, Miamis, and Wyandots. Beginning in the 1700s, the area was settled by people from New England, the Middle States, Appalachia, and the upper south.
Prior to 1984, the United States Census Bureau considered Ohio part of the North Central Region. That region was renamed "Midwest" and split into two divisions. Ohio is now in the East North Central States division. Ohio also has the highest population density of any state not on the Eastern Seaboard.
Ohio was the first state admitted to the Union under the Northwest Ordinance. Its U.S. postal abbreviation is OH; its old-style abbreviation was O. Natives of Ohio are known as Ohioans.
Ohio's geographic location has proved to be an asset for economic growth and expansion. Because Ohio links the Northeast to the Midwest, much cargo and business traffic passes through its borders on its well-developed highways. Ohio has the nation's 10th largest highway network, and is within a one-day drive of 50% of North America's population and 70% of North America's manufacturing capacity. To the North, Lake Erie gives Ohio 312 miles (502 km) of coastline, which allows for numerous seaports. Ohio's southern border is defined by the Ohio River (with the border being at the 1793 low-water mark on the north side of the river), and much of the northern border is defined by Lake Erie. Ohio's neighbors are Pennsylvania to the east, Michigan to the northwest, Ontario Canada,to the north, Indiana to the west, Kentucky on the south, and West Virginia on the southeast.
The climate of Ohio is a humid continental climate throughout most of the state except in the extreme southern counties of Ohio's Bluegrass region section which are located on the northern periphery of the humid subtropical climate and Upland South region of the United States. Summers are typically hot and humid throughout the State, while winters generally range from cool to cold. Precipitation in Ohio is moderate year-round. Severe weather is not uncommon in the state, although there are typically fewer tornadoes in Ohio than in states located in the so-called Tornado Alley. Severe lake effect snowstorms are also not uncommon on the southeast shore of Lake Erie, which is located in an area designated as the Snowbelt.
Although predominantly not in a subtropical climate, some warmer-climate flora and fauna does reach well into Ohio. For instance, a number of trees with more southern ranges, such as the blackjack oak, Quercus marilandica, are found at their northernmost in Ohio just north of the Ohio River. Also evidencing this climatic transition from a subtropical to continental climate, several plants such as the Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), Albizia julibrissin (mimosa), Crape Myrtle, and even the occasional Needle Palm are hardy landscape materials regularly used as street, yard, and garden plantings in the Bluegrass region of Ohio; but these same plants will simply not thrive in much of the rest of the State. This interesting change may be observed while traveling through Ohio on Interstate 75 from Cincinnati to Toledo; the observant traveler of this diverse state may even catch a glimpse of Cincinnati's common wall lizard, one of the few examples of permanent "subtropical" fauna in Ohio.
Wording courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org/
Photos courtesy of Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism