Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the U.S. state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore City in order to distinguish it from surrounding Baltimore County. Founded in 1729, Baltimore is a major U.S.seaport and is situated closer to major Midwestern markets than any other major seaport on the East Coast. Baltimore's Inner Harbor was once the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the United States and a major manufacturing center. The harbor is now home to Harbor place, a shopping, entertainment, and tourist center, and the National Aquarium in Baltimore. After a decline in manufacturing, Baltimore shifted to a service-oriented economy. Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital are now the city's largest employers.
Baltimore is divided officially into nine geographical regions: Northern, Northwestern, Northeastern, Western, Central, Eastern, Southern, Southwestern, and Southeastern, with each patrolled by a respective Baltimore Police Department district. However, it is common for locals to divide the city simply by East or West Baltimore, using Charles Street as a dividing line, and/or into North and South using Baltimore Street as a dividing line.
Baltimore is located close to the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay, the Baltimore enjoys a moderate and humid climate, with warm summer weather and mild winters. Visitors to Baltimore in the springtime will enjoy a warm and fairly dry season and daytime temperatures reaching the mid-60s. In summer Baltimore's weather is hot and humid, and the hottest and wettest months of the year are July and August, when daytime temperatures can reach around 29°C / 84°F. During the late summer and early autumn, thundery weather can occur and hurricanes are possible.
Autumn weather and climate in Baltimore is pleasant, with warm daytime temperatures and cool nights. Winters in Baltimore are cool and the coldest month is January when daytime temperatures drop to 4°C / 40°F, while nighttime temperatures reach lows of around -2°C / 28°F. Snowfalls will occur through these months, but do not last very long.