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PHYSICAL AND CLIMATIC CHARACTERISTICS

A. Area:

Middletown has an area of 42.9 square miles.

B. Altitude:

The highest peak above mean sea level is 907 feet on Mt. Highby. The lowest point above mean sea level is 15 feet at the Connecticut River. Most of Middletown is under 480 feet.

C. Topography:

Middletown consists of flat marshlands at the river levels to rolling hills. The Connecticut River and its tributaries --- The Sebethe or Mattabesset River, Coginchaug, and Sumner Brook, are the principal waterways.

The original city center lies on the relatively level land, rising slowly from the river level to the Wesleyan campus at the west. The land falls off abruptly into the valley of the Mattabesst in the north and into that of Sumner Brook to the south. This natural topography serves to define and limit the area of the central district.

Along the westerly boundary, adjacent to Meriden, the land is rugged and in places reaches an elevation of nearly 900 feet. Easterly from this boundary the land becomes more gently rolling. The soils in much of the north and west sections of the City are generally of a medium to heavy character, with slow internal drainage. Some areas have poorly drained soils with clay or slit, although there are limited pockets of well-drained gravelly or sandy soils. Near the Mattabesset and Coginchaug Rivers there are extensive areas of alluvial soils, much of them subject to flooding. In general, the soil conditions of this part of the City are unsuitable for development except at a very low density, unless public sanitary sewerage is available.

Sumner Brook and its tributaries drain much of the south central area of the City. These streams rise near the Middlefield and Haddam lines and join south of the city center, where Sumner Brook flows in the Connecticut. Soil conditions in this part of Middletown vary, but much of the area contains medium to heavy soils which require public sanitary sewerage where development exceeds a low density. There are, however, some limited areas with sandy or gravelly soils, but there are also pockets of poorly drained soils as well as rocky and rugged land. The topography of most of the south central area is gently rolling, becoming more rugged near the City's south boundary.

D. Climate:

Average annual temperature: 50.2F
Mean maximum January temperature: 36F
Mean minimum January temperature: 18F
Mean maximum July temperature: 83F
Mean minimum July temperature: 61F
Average annual rainfall: 50.34 inches
Average annual snowfall: 37.2 inches

 

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