Missouri named after the Missouri Siouan Indian tribe meaning "town of the large canoes", is a central state in the United States. It's border physically touches a total of eight different states. It is bounded on the north by Iowa; on the east, across the Mississippi River, by Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee; on the south by Arkansas; and on the west by Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska (the latter across the Missouri River.) The Mississippi and Missouri rivers are the two large rivers which flow through this state. North of the Missouri River lie the Northern Plains that stretch into Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. Here, gentle rolling hills remain behind from a glacier that once had extended from the north to the Missouri River.
Southern Missouri is the home of the Ozark Mountains, a dissected plateau surrounding the Precambrian igneous St. Francois Mountains. The southeastern part of the state is home to the Bootheel, part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain or Mississippi embayment. This region is the lowest, flattest and wettest part of the state, and among the poorest. It is also the most fertile.
Missouri has a continental climate, but with considerable local and regional variation. The average annual temperature is 50°F in the northwest, but about 60°F in the southeast. The average annual precipitation for Kansas City is approx. 40 in, with some rain or snow falling about 110 days a year. The heaviest precipitation is in the southeast. During the winter, northwest winds prevail; the air movement is largely from the south and southeast during the rest of the year. Springtime is the peak tornado season.