Minneapolis is part of a 15-county metropolitan statistical area. (In addition to Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Washington, Dakota, Scott, Carver, Wright, Sheburne, Chisago, and Isanti counties in Minnesota, and Pierce and St. Croix counties in Wisconsin, two counties in St. Cloud were added in 1993; they were Stearns and Benton.) Minneapolis, which shares geographic and climatic characteristics with Saint Paul, is situated at the point where the Minnesota River joins the Mississippi River on flat or gently rolling terrain. Sixteen lakes are located within the city limits. Most of the lakes are small and shallow, covered by ice in the winter. The city's climate is continental, with large seasonal temperature variations and a favorable growing season of 166 days. Severe weather conditions, such as blizzards, freezing rain, tornadoes, and wind and hail storms are fairly common; winter recreational weather is excellent, however, because of the dry snow, which reaches average depths of 6 to 10 inches.
Area: 54.9 square miles (1999)
Elevation: Ranges from 687 feet to 1,060 feet above sea level
Average Temperatures: January, 11.2° F; August, 70.6° F; annual average, 44.7° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 26.36 inches