Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia, is the capital of the United States of America. The city is located on the north bank of the Potomac River and is bordered by the states of Maryland to the southeast, northeast, and northwest, and Virginia to the southwest.
Washington, D.C. has a total area of 177 km2; of which 159 km2 are land and 18 km2 is water. The District's current area consists only of territory ceded by the state of Maryland. The District is also divided by the Anacostia River and Rock Creek. One fourth of the District is park land. The city is divided artificially into four quadrants: northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest.
Washington D.C. is the legislative, administrative, and judicial center of the United States. Washington D.C. has increasing industries (not directly related to government), especially in the areas of education, finance, and public policy.
The city has become a leader in global real estate investment, behind London, New York City, and Paris. Today, the Washington D.C. area is a high technology center, military, medical, and other governmental research. This growth has transformed the city of a rural area to a metropolis that is home to over six million people.
The city is also a main tourist attraction, its history, beautiful architecture, and cultural centers attract millions of visitors each year. The center of all three branches of the federal government of the United States is located there, as many of the nation's monuments and museums.
The Capitol and the White House are the most important center of tourism in the U.S., other important government buildings and places of historic interest include the Senate and House of Representatives office buildings, the Supreme Court Building, the Pentagon, the Federal Bureau of Investigation building, the Library of Congress, the National Archives Building, Constitution Hall, the Ronald Reagan Building, the Watergate apartment complex, the State Department, and the headquarters of the World Bank.
Washington has a humid subtropical climate, typical of Mid-Atlantic U.S. areas, with four distinct seasons. Washington is known for its hot, and humid summers, enjoyable springs, and autumns, and mild winters with seasonal snowfall averaging just over 420 mm.
The cruellest storms which typically feature high winds, heavy rains, and occasional snow, often influence large sections of the U.S. East Coast. The combination of heat and humidity in the summer brings very frequent thunderstorms, some of which sporadically produce tornadoes in the area. While hurricanes occasionally track through the area in late summer and early fall, It have often weakened by the time it reach Washington, partly due to the city's inland location.