Germany is in Western and Central Europe and shares its borders with Denmark in the north, Poland and the Czech Republic in the east, Austria and Switzerland in the south, France and Luxembourg in the south-west, and Belgium and the Netherlands in the north-west. It lies mostly between latitudes 47° and 55° N (the tip of Sylt is just north of 55°), and longitudes 5° and 16° E. The country’s territory covers 357,021 km2 (137,847 sq mi) which consists of 349,223 km2 (134,836 sq mi) of land and 7,798 km2 (3,011 sq mi) of water. Based on land area, it is the seventh largest country in Europe and the 62nd largest in the world.
The country has a varied geography which includes the mountains of the Alps (highest point: the Zugspitze at 2,962 meters / 9,718 feet) in the south to the shores of the North Sea (Nordsee) in the north-west and the Baltic Sea (Ostsee) in the north-east. The uplands of central Germany which are filled with old forests and the lowlands of northern Germany are traversed by major rivers such as the Rhine, Danube and Elbe. Glaciers are found in the Alpine region, but these are experiencing fast deglaciation.
Humid westerly winds dominate the climate of Germany which is temperate seasonal climate. The North Atlantic Drift, which is the northern extension of the Gulf Stream, restrains the climate. The areas of the country in the borders of the North Sea are affected by the warmer water. As a consequence, in the north-west and the north of Germany the climate is oceanic. Rainfall occurs year-round, especially in the summer. Winters is moderate while summers are comparitively cool, however temperatures may exceed 30 °C (86 °F).
The east of Germany has a more continental climate. Here, winters can become very cold and summers very warm with frequent long dry periods. Central Germany and southern Germany are transition regions where the climate varies from moderately oceanic to continental. Most of the country is dominated by maritime and continental climates. The exceptions are the Alpine regions in the extreme south and to a lesser extent, some areas of the Central German Uplands which have a mountain climate, characterized by lower temperatures and greater precipitation.