Overview of Los Angeles

Geography of Los Angeles

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Los Angeles lies on the hilly coast of Southern California in the Western United States. The region displays a variety of terrain with the Pacific Ocean coast line bordering the city for over 40 miles, the Santa Monica Mountain Range surrounding the north, and the San Gabriel mountains marking the East. Marked by rolling hills and jagged canyons, LA is also the only major US city to be bisected by a mountain range. The region lies in the AMPST time zone.

The highly desirable Mediterranean climate is usually warm and sunny with an average of 329 days of sun per year. The average temperature is around 64°F (17°C), though smog-shrouded summer days can get well over 90°F (32°C) and winter temperatures around 55°F (12°C) are not uncommon. Most of the 15-17 inches of rain a year occur in the winter with the rainiest month being February, but freezing conditions are exceptionally rare. Though July and August are the most popular months for visitors, they are also the hottest and smoggiest with early fall offering more comfortable temperatures and lower chance if oppressive smog. To miss the fog entirely, head to the beach which is almost always clear. For current weather conditions consult: weather.

Several geographic and manmade factors are also present in La Air pollution from LA's reliance on automobiles and is called smog and appears as a cloud of fog that hangs over the city. It is common to find ratings of air quality along with temperatures for the day. Environmental regulations have helped to clean up much of the pollution since the 1970s, but smog still regularly appears at its worst during the summer months. To take advantage of the area's views of the ocean and mountains, many high priced homes have been built on top of cliffs...only to succumb to mudslides from overdeveloping and lack of environmental planning. Earthquakes are also a concern as the city is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horse shoe shaped basin lining the Pacific Ocean. Earthquakes are frequent but few are felt and even fewer cause much damage. Though there are frequent predictions, it is more of a joke about the "Big One" that will send California sliding into the Ocean then a reality. For the most recent earthquakes activity visit: Earthquake Data.

Despite these negatives, it is the attractions like the Hollywood Sign, Mann's Chinese Theatre, and Disneyland that truly define the region.

Update 26/03/2008

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