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States of Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico

29.1N 111W

January 20th, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Mexico - November 18th, 2009

Mexico - November 18th, 2009

The majority of the land in this image belongs to the Mexican states of Sonora (west) and Chihuahua (east), although parts of the states of Durango and Sinaloa are also visible towards the bottom. The state of Baja California Sud is entirely visible on the peninsula to the left, as is the southern part of Baja California. Finally, a small part of Texas, USA can be seen in the upper right quadrant.

Although Chihuahua is primarily identified with its namesake, the Chihuahuan Desert, it has more forests than any other state. On the slope of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains (around the regions of Casas Grandes, Cuauhtémoc and Parral), there are vast prairies of short yellow grass, the source of the bulk of the state’s agricultural production.

Sonora’s western shores are washed by the Sea of Cortez (or Gulf of California, as it is also known), which is connected to the Pacific Ocean further south. The Sonoran coastline is 1,208 km long, while its land border with Chihuahua is 592 km. Sonora is the second largest state in Mexico (184,934 km²), representing 9.2% of the nation’s total area.

Sonora consists of four physiographic regions: The Sierra Madre Occidental, Parallel Mountains and Valleys, the Sonoran Desert, and the Coast of the Gulf of California. Sonora is located in a climactic strip in the northern hemisphere that has formed various deserts around the globe. The state is located at the same latitude as the deserts of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and other regions.

Mexico, from Coastal Plains to Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains – January 10th, 2010

January 10th, 2010 Category: Image of the day

Mexico - December 20th, 2009

Mexico - December 20th, 2009

The coastal plain is a narrow strip of land that reaches along the length of the Mexico and lies between the ocean and the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental Range. This stretch of Mexico’s western coastline belongs to the states of Sonora (upper half) and Sinaloa (lower half), while the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental Range, running parallel to the shoreline, extend into the states of Chihuahua (above) and Durango (below).

Sinaloa has a warm climate on the coast side, moderate-warm in the valleys and lower mountainskirts, moderate-cold in small mountains and cold in the high ones. Its weather characteristics vary from subtropical, found on the plains, to cold in the nearby mountains. Temperatures range from 22°C to 43°C with rains during the summer.

Sonora has varied physiographic regions, ranging from mountains to coastal plains to desert. Extreme high temperatures, upwards of 50 °C or higher occur in summer in desert areas while winters, although short, are cool compared with most of Mexico. Most parts of Sonora are located in the desert; the state is thus extremely arid. Some cities are less hot in summer and with cold winters because there are at an altitude of 1,500 or more, while other cities are extremely hot in summer and mild to warm in winter because they are at an altitude of 208 m or less.

Western Mexico, from Coastal Plains to the Sierra Madre Occidental

April 28th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Snapshots

Mexico - April 13th, 2009

Mexico - April 13th, 2009

The terrain visible in this image of western Mexico ranges from arid desert to fertile coastal plains to mountains.

The arid area can be seen along the western coast of the state of Baja California Sur, as the Baja California Desert extends along the Pacific side of the peninsula for most of its length.

The green area along the coastline is part of the state of Sinaloa.  Sinaloa is bordered to the north by Sonora and Chihuahua; to the south, by Nayarit; to the east by Durango, and to the west, across the Gulf of California, Baja California Sur. The coastal plain area has a subtropical climate.

Just east of the Sinaloa coastal plain are the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental Range, which dominates the eastern part of the state.

Further south, at the bottom right, near the city of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, is Lake Chapala, Mexico’s largest freshwater lake. The lake, at 1,524 metres above sea level, appears white due to sun glint.