Virginia is a Commonwealth and is bordered by West Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia (across the Potomac River) to the north; by Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean to the east; by North Carolina and Tennessee to the south; and by Kentucky and West Virginia to the west.
Geographically, Virginia is divided into five regions. The Ridge and Valley region lies between the Appalachian Plateau and Allegheny Plateau to the west and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east. The Shenandoah Valley is located within the Ridge and Valley and is referred to geographically, and culturally, as its own region.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are between the Ridge and Valley Region to the west and the Piedmont region to the east. The Piedmont region is between the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west and the Tidewater region to the east. Tidewater lies between the fall line to the west and the Atlantic coast to the east; it includes the Eastern Shore. Elevations in Virginia vary from sea level to the 1746 m Mount Rogers, with major gradations occurring at the edges of the Atlantic Ocean, the end of the Piedmont, and the Blue Ridge and Allegheny chains of the Appalachian Mountains.
Significant variations occur in climate because of the state's significant relief. The climate is generally considered mild compared to other areas of the United States. Most of the state east of the Blue Ridge has a humid subtropical climate. In the mountainous areas west of the Blue Ridge, the climate becomes humid continental cold air masses arrive over the mountains, especially in winter, leading to significant snowfalls.