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Old 05-16-2007, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
15,194 posts, read 20,727,374 times
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Post Plains vs Midwest

What do you believe the biggest differences are between the two regions, and what states would you include as being a Plains state or a Midwest state?
I think one of the biggest differences between the two are climate and population density. The rural Plains has far people living in rural counties compared with the rural Midwest. The climate between the two regions is also much different with the Plains experiencing very hot summers while portions of the Midwest do not usually get too hot. The types of people and political attitudes differ quite a bit between the two regions as well.

Here are the portions of states that I would classify as being in the Midwest:
central/southern Wisconsin
central/northern Illinois
central/northern Indiana
central/eastern Iowa
northern Missouri
southern Minnesota
central/northern Ohio
southern Michigan
Here are the portions of states that I would classify as being in the Plains:
most of North Dakota
most of South Dakota
western Iowa
western Minnesota
most of Nebraska
most of Kansas
eastern Colorado
eastern New Mexico
central and western Oklahoma
central and western Texas

Last edited by GraniteStater; 05-16-2007 at 03:24 PM.. Reason: Additions
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:53 PM
 
Location: AZ
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The midwest gets PLENTY hot. Look at all the hundreds that have died in Chicago from massive heat waves. ;-)
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
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Yes, the Midwest can get hot but last summer portions of South Dakota recorded temperatures above 120F. The climate in the plains is often more extreme than areas of the Midwest closer to the Great Lakes.
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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Not another regions war!! I'm honestly not sure what the distinction is between "plains" and "midwest." Eastern Colorado is definitely plains-- as well as a lot of Wyoming, Eastern Montana, and Eastern New Mexico. Why does your definition abruptly end with Kansas? Western Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle are about as "plains" as you can get; if that ain't the plains, I don't know what is. While I'm sure these "plains" areas are a distinct region, there are many other distinct subregions within the midwest. From my pov, having lived in CO and AZ, I split the country up a little differently. I tend to think of the whole central US as one gigantic valley, between the Rockies and the Appalachians, with the Mississippi River right in the middle. This entire super-region of the country is divided up into a 1 square mile grid surveying system, hence, the straight roads that seem to continue forever. Denver is the transition city between the Greater Central US and the Western US. Saint Louis is the transition city between North Central and South Central US.
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
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Post Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
Not another regions war!! I'm honestly not sure what the distinction is between "plains" and "midwest." Eastern Colorado is definitely plains-- as well as a lot of Wyoming, Eastern Montana, and Eastern New Mexico. Why does your definition abruptly end with Kansas? Western Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle are about as "plains" as you can get; if that ain't the plains, I don't know what is. While I'm sure these "plains" areas are a distinct region, there are many other distinct subregions within the midwest. From my pov, having lived in CO and AZ, I split the country up a little differently. I tend to think of the whole central US as one gigantic valley, between the Rockies and the Appalachians, with the Mississippi River right in the middle. This entire super-region of the country is divided up into a 1 square mile grid surveying system, hence, the straight roads that seem to continue forever. Denver is the transition city between the Greater Central US and the Western US. Saint Louis is the transition city between North Central and South Central US.
Yes, I just added eastern New Mexico, eastern Colorado, west/central Oklahoma and west/central Texas to the list You could include eastern Montana and Wyoming part of the plains as well but a good portions of Wyoming is mountainous. The further west you go in the high plains the more extreme the climate is and the aridity also increases. Portions of the high plains have just experienced a 7 year drought.
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:43 PM
j33
 
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The northern Midwest/Great Lakes has a more urban/manufacturing history than the plains states (e.g. Detroit, Chicago, Gary, Milwaukee, Cleveland etc). That is the only major thing that is coming to me at this moment.
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:47 PM
 
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I live in SD and have always considered it to be the Midwest - the western part of SD is anything but plains with the black hills.......
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:51 PM
 
Location: AZ
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The plains to me, were always Kansas, northern TX, Oklahoma, ND, SD, Nebraska, eastern Colorado, parts of Montana, even parts of Wyoming. There are certainly areas of IL and IA that resemble plains, but since you consider them more "midwest", I dont know what to group it as. I do agree that the plains are more arid, in general, than the midwest, but other than that, there are not many differences.
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Old 05-16-2007, 04:16 PM
 
5,231 posts, read 9,344,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plains10 View Post
What do you believe the biggest differences are between the two regions, and what states would you include as being a Plains state or a Midwest state?
I think one of the biggest differences between the two are climate and population density. The rural Plains has far people living in rural counties compared with the rural Midwest. The climate between the two regions is also much different with the Plains experiencing very hot summers while portions of the Midwest do not usually get too hot. The types of people and political attitudes differ quite a bit between the two regions as well.

Here are the portions of states that I would classify as being in the Midwest:
central/southern Wisconsin
central/northern Illinois
central/northern Indiana
central/eastern Iowa
northern Missouri
southern Minnesota
central/northern Ohio
southern Michigan
Here are the portions of states that I would classify as being in the Plains:
most of North Dakota
most of South Dakota
western Iowa
western Minnesota
most of Nebraska
most of Kansas
eastern Colorado
eastern New Mexico
central and western Oklahoma
central and western Texas
Wait a minute! What happened to Central and NE MN, Central and UP MI, northern WI, central and southern MO, southern IL and IN, and the entire state of OH? All of them are usually classified as Midwest, and I would argue that none of them are Plains states.
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Old 05-16-2007, 05:13 PM
 
449 posts, read 891,706 times
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I'd add OK and the TX Panhandle to the plains too. We've lived in Wisconsin (central) and Iowa (central too) - big difference in amount/strength of the wind. Iowa had more extreme differences in weather (really hot, really freezing) in comparison. Central WI had similar temps but seemed more moderate(except winter seemed a lot colder in IA..windier makes a huge difference when its cold).

I usually think of the plains as W of MN - starting with the Dakota's and then down to TX Panhandle. I imagine its even windier than ..more sudden weather changes as you head south of SD.
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