South Bend: Geography and Climate
South Bend is located on the Saint Joseph River on mostly level to gently rolling terrain and some former marshlands. The proximity of Lake Michigan—the city is within twenty miles of the nearest shore—produces a moderating effect on South Bend's climate. Temperatures of 100 degrees or higher are rare and cold waves are less severe than at other locations at the same latitude. Distribution of precipitation is relatively even throughout the year; the greatest amounts occur during the growing season, May to October. Winter is characterized by cloudiness and high humidity, with frequent periods of snow. Heavier snowfalls are often borne into the area by a cold northwest wind passing over Lake Michigan.
Area: 38.7 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 773 feet above sea level
Average Temperatures: January, 24.4° F; July, 73.3° F; annual average, 49.5° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 36.52 inches of rain, 72.9 inches of snow
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