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The average annual temperature at Des Moines is 50 °F (10 °C); for some locations in the north the figure is under 45 °F (7 °C), while Keokuk, on the Mississippi River, averages 52 °F (11 °C). Spring ushers in the beginning of the severe weather season.

Iowa averages about 50 days of thunderstorm activity per year.

In the latter half of the 20th century, Iowa's agricultural economy made the transition to a diversified economy of advanced manufacturing, processing, financial services, information technology, biotechnology, and green energy production.

Iowa is the 26th most extensive in land area and the 30th most populous of the 50 U. The state's capital, most populous city, and largest metropolitan area fully located within the state is Des Moines.

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Virtually statewide, the driest month is January or February, and the wettest month is June, owing to frequent showers and thunderstorms, some of which produce hail, damaging winds and/or tornadoes.Main articles: New France, Louisiana (New France), French and Indian War, Treaty of Paris (1763), New Spain, Louisiana (New Spain), Treaty of Aranjuez (1801), Louisiana Purchase, District of Louisiana, and Louisiana Territory Iowa was part of a territory known as La Louisiane or Louisiana, and European traders were interested in lead and furs obtained by Indians.The Sauk and Meskwaki effectively controlled trade on the Mississippi in the late 18th century and early 19th century.In northwest Iowa, Cretaceous bedrock can be 74 million years old; in eastern Iowa Cambrian bedrock dates to c. Northeast Iowa along the Upper Mississippi River is part of the Driftless Area, consisting of steep hills and valleys which appear almost mountainous.Several natural lakes exist, most notably Spirit Lake, West Okoboji Lake, and East Okoboji Lake in northwest Iowa (see Iowa Great Lakes). Man-made lakes include Lake Odessa, Most of Iowa is used for agriculture; crops cover 60% of the state, grasslands (mostly pasture and hay with some prairie and wetland) cover 30%, and forests cover 7%; urban areas and water cover another 1% each.

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