Wilmington Delaware

Wilmington is Delaware’s largest city in land area (17 square miles) and in population (72,826 in 2006). The city is located in the northeast corner of the state, 25 miles southwest of Philadelphia. Wilmington sits on the western bank of the Delaware River at the confluence (joining) of the Christina River and the Brandywine Creek. George Washington famously travelled through Wilmington on his famous ride up the Delaware River. The Chesapeake Bay lies southwest of the city. Wilmington is surrounded by water in every direction and is considered part of the Mid Atlantic coastal plain. The topography of Wilmington, like much of Delaware, is low lying and flat. The city sits only a mere 74 feet above sea level and much of the city, especially eastern parts of the city sit slightly lower than 74 feet above sea level.

Like many coastal areas Wilmington’s climate is affected by the nearby ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. Summers are warm and humid. Average summer temps are 75 degrees with humidity reaching as high as 75%. Coastal weather patterns and warm breezes off of the Atlantic Ocean keep humidity lower than cities directly west of Wilmington. Summertime temperatures are typically a few degrees cooler than inland cities as well. Most of Wilmington’s annual rainfall occurs in the summer. July is the wettest month of the year in Wilmington. An average of 4.3 inches of rain falls in Wilmington during July. Additional annual rainfall can be accumulated by hurricanes although Wilmington is far enough inland that it isn’t decimated by hurricane force winds.

While the Atlantic Ocean’s coastal breezes have a cooling effect on Wilmington’s summers, they have a warming effect on Wilmington’s winters. Wilmington winters are usually mild. The city’s estimated annual snowfall is 19.9 inches. Snow that does fall doesn’t stick around for long; only a day or two. Most of Wilmington’s winter precipitation falls as rain or sleet. Wilmington also sees an occasional ice storm.

Wilmington’s convenient location has allowed it become one of the most important financial cities in the United States. One-third of the US populations live within a 350 mile radius of Wilmington. Three of largest commercial cities in the United States, Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington, DC are within a short driving distance. The past 10 years have seen an influx of credit card companies and major US banks relocating their headquarters to Wilmington and the nearby city of Newark, making New Castle County Delaware a very important financial district not only on the east coast but nationwide.