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The climate of New York State is broadly representative of the humid continental type that prevails in the northeastern United States, but its diversity is not usually encountered within an area of comparable size.[citation needed] The Great Lakes, ocean, rivers, and mountains give New York interesting weather. Masses of cold, dry air frequently arrive from the northern interior of the continent. Prevailing winds from the south and southwest transport warm, humid air, which has been conditioned by the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent subtropical waters. These two air masses provide the dominant continental characteristics of the climate. A third great air mass flows inland from the North Atlantic Ocean and produces cool, cloudy, and damp weather conditions. Nearly all storm and frontal systems moving eastward across the continent pass through or come close in proximity to New York State. Storm systems often move northward along the Atlantic coast and have an important influence on the weather and climate of Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley. Frequently, areas deep in the interior of the state feel the effects of such coastal storms. The winters are long and cold in the Plateau Divisions of the state. In the majority of winter seasons, a temperature of 13 °F (25 °C) or lower can be expected in the northern highlands (Northern Plateau) and 5 °F ("15 °C) or colder in the southwestern and east-central highlands (Southern Plateau). The Adirondack region records from 35 to 45 days with below zero temperatures in normal to severe winters.[citation needed] Much of Upstate New York, particularly Western and Central New York, are typically affected by lake-effect snows. This usually results in high yearly snowfall totals in these regions. Winters are also long and cold in both Western and Central New York, though not as cold as the Adirondack region. The New York City metro area in comparison to the rest of the state is milder in the winter. Thanks in part to geography (its proximity to the Atlantic and being shielded to the north and west by hillier terrain), the New York metro area usually sees far less snow than the rest of the state. Lake-effect snow rarely affects the New York metro area, except for its extreme northwestern suburbs. Winters also tend to be noticeably shorter here than the rest of the state.[citation needed] The summer climate is cool in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and higher elevations of the Southern Plateau. The New York City area and lower portions of the Hudson Valley have rather warm summers by comparison, with some periods of high, uncomfortable humidity. The remainder of New York State enjoys pleasantly warm summers, marred by only occasional, brief intervals of sultry conditions. Summer daytime temperatures usually range from the upper 70s to mid 80s °F (25 to 30 °C) over much of the State, producing an atmospheric environment favorable to many athletic, recreational, and other outdoor activities. New York ranks 46th among the 50 states in the amount of greenhouse gases generated per person. This efficiency is primarily due to the state's relatively higher rate of mass transit use. (Wikipedia)

During the 17th century, Dutch trading posts established for the purchase of pelts from the Iroquois and other tribes expanded into the colony of New Netherlands. The first of these trading posts were Beverwyck (1614, now Albany); New Amsterdam, (1623, now NYC); and Esopus, (1653, now Kingston). The English captured the colony during the Second Anglo-Dutch War and governed it as the Province of New York. Agitation for independence during the 1770s brought the American Revolution, which for New York was also a civil war. New York declared itself an independent state on July 9, 1776. The New York state constitution was framed by a convention which assembled at White Plains, New York on July 10, 1776, and after repeated adjournments and changes of location, terminated its labors at Kingston, New York on Sunday evening, April 20, 1777, when the new constitution was adopted with but one dissenting vote. It was not submitted to the people for ratification. It was drafted by John Jay. On 30 July 1777, George Clinton was inaugurated as the first Governor of New York at Kingston. The Woolworth Building, in New York City, was one of the world's first skyscrapers (1913).During the revolution, four of the Iroquois nations fought on the side of the British. They were defeated in the Sullivan Expedition of 1779. Suffering privations, many members moved to Canada. Most, absent or present, lost their land after the war. Some of the land purchases are the subject of modern-day claims by the individual tribes. New York state was one of the original thirteen colonies that became the United States. It was the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788. The creation of the Erie Canal led to rapid industrialization in New York.Transportation in western New York was difficult before canals were built in the early part of the nineteenth century. The Hudson and Mohawk Rivers could be navigated only as far as Central New York. While the St. Lawrence River could be navigated to Lake Ontario, the way westward to the other Great Lakes was blocked by Niagara Falls, and so the only route to western New York was over land. Governor DeWitt Clinton strongly advocated building a canal to connect the Hudson River with Lake Erie, and thus all the Great Lakes. Work commenced in 1817, and the Erie Canal was finished in 1825. The canal opened up vast areas of New York to commerce and settlement, and enabled port cities such as Buffalo to grow and prosper. (Wikipedia)