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According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 319.03 square miles (826.28 km2), of which, 314.95 square miles (815.72 km2) is land and 4.08 square miles (10.57 km2) is water.[1] Much of urban Kansas City sits atop bluffs overlooking the rivers and river bottoms areas. Kansas City proper is bowl-shaped and is surrounded to the north and south by limestone and bedrock cliffs that were carved by glaciers. Kansas City is situated at the junction between the Dakota and Minnesota ice lobes during the maximum late Independence glaciation of the Pleistocene epoch. The Kansas and Missouri rivers cut wide valleys into the terrain when the glaciers melted and drained. A partially filled spillway valley crosses the central portion of Kansas City, Missouri. This valley is an eastward continuation of Turkey Creek valley. It lies more or less at the geographic centre of the United States of America. [edit]Climate Kansas City lies in the Midwestern United States, as well as near the geographic center of the country, at the confluence of the second largest river in the country, the Missouri River, and the Kansas River (also known as the Kaw River). The city lies in the southern margin of the humid continental (Koppen Dfa) climatic zones, with four distinct seasons, and moderate precipitation. Most of the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area sees a fairly mild climate for various periods in each season. However, there is also significant potential for extremes of hot and cold swings in temperature all year long. The warmest month of the year is July, with a 24-hour average temperature of 81 F (27.2 C). The summer months are warm but can get hot and moderately humid, with moist air riding up from th Gulf of Mexico, and high temperatures surpass 100 F (38 C) on 4 days of the year, and 90 F (32 C) on nearly 40 days.[17][18] Fall is characterized by mild days and cool nights.[19] The coldest month of the year is January, with an average temperature of 30.5 F (?0.8 C). Winters are generally dry and range from cool to moderately cold, with a mere 2.6 nights with a low below 0 F (?18 C).[17] The record high temperature here is 112 F (44 C), set on July 13, 1954,[20] and the record low is ?19 F (?28 C), set on December 22, 1989.[21] Annual average snowfall is a moderate 19.9 inches (51 cm). The first freezing temperature tends to occur around October 31, with the last around April 4, according to the average first snowfall occurs on November 27, and the first 1 inch (2.5 cm) or greater snowfall occurring around early December. Precipitation, both in frequency and total accumulation, shows a marked uptick in late spring and summer. Kansas City is situated in "Tornado Alley", a broad region where cold air from the Rocky Mountains in Canada collide with warm air from the Gulf of Mexico, leading to the formation of powerful storms especially during the spring. A few areas of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area have had some severe outbreaks of tornadoes at different points in the past, including the Ruskin Heights tornado in 1957,[22] and the May 2003 tornado outbreak sequence. The region can also fall victim to the sporadic ice storm during the winter months, such as the 2002 ice storm during which hundreds of thousands lost power for days and (in some cases) weeks.[23] Kansas City and its outlying areas are also subject to flooding, including the Great Flood of 1993 and the Great Flood of 1951.