Geography and climate


  • Elevation: 25 feet (8 meters) above mean sea level.
  • Latitude: 38° 31' N; Longitude: -121° 30' W

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 257.0 km² (99.2 mi²). 251.6 km² (97.2 mi²) of it is land and 5.4 km² (2.1 mi²) of it is water; 2.1% of the area is water. The population in 2000 was 407,018; the 1980 population was 275,741. The city's current estimated population is approximately 454,330. Depth to groundwater is typically about 30 feet. Much of the land to the west of the city (in Yolo County) is a flood control basin. As a result, the greater metropolitan area sprawls only four miles (6 km) west of downtown (as West Sacramento, California) but 30 miles (50 km) northeast and east, into the Sierra Nevada foothills, and 10 miles (16 km) to the south into valley farmland.

The city is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River, and has a deepwater port connected to the San Francisco Bay by a channel through Suisun Bay and the Sacramento River Delta. It is the shipping and rail center for the Sacramento Valley, fruit, vegetables, rice, wheat, dairy goods, and beef. Food processing is among the major industries in the area.


Sacramento has a Mediterranean climate that is characterized by mild winters and dry summers. The area usually has low humidity. Rain typically falls only between November and March, with the rainy season tapering off almost completely by the end of April. The average temperature throughout the year is 61 °F (16 °C), with the daily average ranging from 46 °F (8 °C) in December and January to 76 °F (24 °C) in July. Average daily high temperatures range from 53 °F (12 °C) in December and January to 93 °F (34 °C) in July (with many days of over 100 °F (38 °C) highs). Daily low temperatures range from 38 to 58 °F (3 to 14 °C). The average year has 73 days with a high over 90 °F (34 °C), with the highest temperature on record being 115 °F (45 °C) on July 25, 2006, and 18 days when the low drops below 32 °F (0 °C), with the coldest day on record being December 11, 1932, at 17 °F (-8 °C). Average yearly precipitation is 17.4" (442 mm), with almost no rain during the summer months, to an average rainfall of 3.7" (94 mm) in January. It rains, on average, 58 days of the year. In February of 1992, Sacramento had 16 consecutive days of rain (6.41" or 163 mm). A record 7.24" (184 mm) of rain fell on April 20, 1880.

On average, 96 days in the year have fog, mostly in the morning (tule fog), primarily in December and January. The fog can get extremely dense, lowering visibility to less than 100 feet (30 m) and making driving conditions hazardous.

The record snowfall was recorded on January 4, 1888, at 9 cm (3.5 in). Snowfall is rare in Sacramento (with an elevation of only 52 feet or 16 m above sea level), with a dusting of snow every eight to ten years. Forty miles (65 km) east of Sacramento, in the foothills, snow accumulation is an annual occurrence. Further east, the Lake Tahoe recreation area is home to a number of world famous ski areas which have accumulation greater than 90" (230 cm) nearly every year during the peak season. Spots in the Sierra Nevada mountains east of Sacramento annually receive some of the greatest snowfall in the lower 48 states, and the mountain range's immense snowpack is a vital source of water for the entire state of California.

Portions of this article are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Sacramento.