Texas is a state in both the Southern and Western region of the United States of America. With an area of 268,581 square miles and a population of 22.8 million, it is second to Alaska in area, and second to California in population. The geography of Texas spans a wide range of features and timelines. It is the southernmost part of the Great Plains, which ends in the south against the folded Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico. It is considered to form part of the U.S. South and also part of the U.S. Southwest. The Rio Grande, Red River and Sabine River all provide natural state lines where Texas borders Oklahoma on the north, Louisiana and Arkansas on the east, and New Mexico and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the south.
The large size of the state of Texas and its location at the intersection of several climate zones gives the state highly variable weather. Tornadoes often occur in the months of March-July throughout the state. The Panhandle of the state is cooler in the winter than the north part or gulf coast of the state. Different regions of Texas experience vastly different precipitation patterns: El Paso averages as little as 7.8" of rain per year while the average annual precipitation is 59" in Orange, Texas. Moderate snowfall often falls in the winter months in the north. Maximum temperatures in the summer months average from the 80s °F in the mountains of West Texas and on Galveston Island to around 100 °F in the Rio Grande Valley. Nighttime summer temperatures range from the upper 50s °F in the West Texas mountains to 80 °F in Galveston.