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The geography of Manitoba addresses the easternmost of the three prairie Canadian provinces, located in the longitudinal center of Canada. Manitoba borders on Saskatchewan to the west, Ontario to the east, Nunavut to the north, and the American states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south. Although the border with Saskatchewan appears straight on large-scale maps, it actually has many right-angle corners that give the appearance of a slanted line. In elevation, Manitoba ranges from 150 metres to 300 metres above sea level. Baldy Mountain, the highest elevation, is at 831 metres. The northern sixty percent of the province is on the Canadian Shield. The northernmost regions of Manitoba lie permafrost (permanently frozen subsoil), and a section of tundra bordering Hudson Bay.
All waters in the province flow into Hudson Bay, due to its coastal area. Lake Winnipegosis and Lake Winnipeg are two of its largest lakes. Important rivers are the Red River, Assiniboine River, Nelson River, and Churchill River. Manitoba is the sixth largest Canadian province, and the eighth largest Canadian province by percentage of fresh water.
Manitoba has an extreme continental climate; temperatures and precipitation generally decrease from south to north, and precipitation decreases from east to west. Manitoba is far removed from the moderating influences of both mountain ranges and large bodies of water, and because of the generally flat landscape, it is exposed to cold Arctic high-pressure air masses from the northwest during January and February. In the summer, air masses sometimes come out of the Southern United States, as warm humid air is drawn northward from the Gulf of Mexico. Temperatures can drop below -40 °C during the winter months and top 35 °C during summer. It is relatively dry as well, although the early winter months see a decent amount of snow.
According to Environment Canada, Manitoba ranked first for clearest skies year round, and ranked second for clearest skies in the summer and for sunniest province in the winter and spring. Portage la Prairie has the most sunny days in warm months in Canada; Winnipeg has a sunnier summer, spring, and winter than any city east of it. Winnipeg also has the second-clearest skies year-round and is the second-sunniest city in Canada in the spring and winter.
Southern parts of the province, located just north of Tornado Alley, experience tornadoes each year.
Winnipeg International Airport (YWG) is the main airport to get to Manitoba.
There are quite a few airlines serving other Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver, for example with Air Canada and Air Transat. Destinations to the US include Detroit, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Las Vegas and Chicago. There are also flights to popular destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean like Mazatlan, Cancun, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
Light aircraft serve a number of destinations throughout Manitoba and neighbouring provinces and mostly go to the tiny towns in the north. A popular flight within Manitoba is to Churchill.
The main line of the Trans-Canada Highway, Highway 1, runs for over 500 kilometres through southern Manitoba and Winnipeg on its way from Ottawa to Regina. Nearly the entire route is a divided 4-lane roadway. The northern Yellowhead Highway branch, Highway 16, splits off at Winnipeg and heads west towards Saskatoon.
From the USA, Interstate 29 in North Dakota connects to Manitoba Highway 75 at the border. From Minnesota, traffic on U.S. Route 75 will need to detour slightly west to the I-29 border crossing, as the crossing on 75 itself is closed. Route 59 is an alternative, though most of it is only a two-lane highway.
Greyhound Canada offers services to other areas and cities in Canada.
The Hudson Bay train is operated by ViaRail and travels north from Winnipeg all the way to Churchill, making for a much more adventurous way to go this way compared to flying.
Some of the options to rent a car include the following companies:
Greyhound Bus serves much of Manitoba, particularly in the south.
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