The Geography of Nebraska
Click here for a few definitions.
|Longitude / Latitude
||Longitude: 95° 25'W to 104°W
Latitude: 40°N to 43°N
|Length x Width
||Nebraska is about 430 miles long and 210 miles wide.
of Nebraska is located in Custer County, 10 miles NW of Broken Bow.
Longitude: 99° 51.7'W
Latitude: 41° 31.5'N
||Nebraska is bordered by South Dakota on the north and
Colorado and Kansas
on the south. On the east, Nebraska is bordered by Iowa
and Missouri. On the west, Nebraska is bordered
Colorado and Wyoming.
||Nebraska covers 77,358 square miles, making it the 16th largest of the
||76,878 square miles of Nebraska are land areas.
||481 square miles of Nebraska are covered by water.
||The highest point in Nebraska is Panorama Point,
at 5,424 feet above sea level.
||The lowest point in Nebraska is 840 feet above sea level at the
Missouri River in southeastern Richardson County.
||The Mean Elevation of the state of Nebraska is 2,600 feet above sea level.
||Missouri River, Niobrara River, Platte River (Official State
River, 1998), Republican River
||Lewis and Clark Lake, Harlan County Lake, Lake C.W. McConaughty
|In the center of the continental United States, Nebraska is a land of plains;
the Disected Till Plains in the eastern part of the state rise to the Great Plains in
the north central and northwest parts of the state.
The Disected Till Plains cover the eastern fifth of Nebraska. This area consists
of rolling hills criss-crossed by streams and rivers. The Disected Till Plains are
farm country and fields of corn, soybeans, sorghum grain, and other crops blanket the region.
The northern section is referred to as the Loess Hills. Loess is
a buff to yellowish-brown loamy dust that is found in North America. Loess is
is distributed across an area by the wind.
The Great Plains of Nebraska lie to the west of the Till Plains and extend across
the state into Wyoming and Colorado. Loess covers the central and south-central
Great Plains. This area can be rough and hilly. A relatively flat area in the
southeastern section, interspersed with lakes and wetlands, is farmed intensly.
This area, about 7,000 square miles, is called The Loess Plains. This region is
also sometimes referred to as the Rainwater Basin or the Rainbasin.
One might think of sand dunes as belonging near an ocean of one of the Great Lakes.
But, north of the Platte River in central Nebraska lies the largest area of sand
dunes in North America. This area, about 20,000 square miles, is created of fine
sand formed into hills by the wind. Most of the sand in the so-called Sand Hills,
is held in place by grass. Exceptions occur due to overgrazing of cattle and this
is cattle country supported by streams and abundant well water.
North and west of the Sand Hills are the High Plains, characterized by rising
land up to over a mile above sea level in the west along the Wyoming border.
This area receives little rainfall although some farming is accomplished with
irrigation techniques. Rougher sections of the High Plains are used for cattle
grazing. The beautiful Wildcat and Pine Ridges are covered with evergreen trees.
The highest point in Nebraska, at 5,426 feet above sea level is found in southwestern
In the northwestern corner of Nebraska is a small area of Badlands. In this
area of Nebraska, wind and water have sculpted the sandstone and clay into strange
and beautiful natural formations. This unusual landscape is characterized by steep
hills laid bare by the wind to reveal sandstone and siltstone structures including
pedestals shaped like mushrooms.
in the Oglala National Grasslands, is an attraction of the Nebraska Badlands.
( Nebraska Close-up )
|Climate (All temperatures Fahrenheit)
||The highest temperature recorded in Nebraska is 118°, Fahrenheit. This record high
was recorded July 15, 1934 at Geneva; on July 17, 1936 at Hartington; and
on July 24, 1936 at Minden.
||The lowest temperature in Nebraska, -47°, was recorded on February 12, 1899 at Camp Clarke
and on December 22, 1989 at Oshkosh.
||Monthly average temperatures range from a high of 89.5 degrees to a low of 8.9 degrees.
||Average yearly precipitation for Nebraska, from 1971 to 2000, is shown on
this chart from Oregon State University.