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Elevation is a term used to measure the height of a city or other location in relation to the mean sea level of Earth and can be very important and influential in a variety of ways. Cities at lower elevations, for example, tend to have warmer weather in general. The elevation of San Francisco is very low, averaging out at 52 feet (16 m), but the city is famously built on a lot of hills, so elevation can greatly vary in San Francisco from one spot to the next. The highest spot in San Francisco has an elevation of 934 feet (285 m), while the city's lowest elevation is the waters of San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, which are at sea level.
Just like the city of San Francisco, the elevation around California can vary greatly in different parts of the state due to its various landscapes and mountain ranges, along with its long coastline. The mean elevation in the state of California is 2,900 feet (880 m), which means it is the 11th highest state in terms of mean elevation. Compared against the state average, San Francisco’s elevation is very low, but the lowest point in the entire state is Badwater Basin, which also happens to be the lowest point in the country and has an elevation of 279 feet (85 m) below sea level. The highest point in California is Mount Whitney with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m).
Other major cities around the state of California include Los Angeles, which has an elevation of 285 feet (87 m), San Diego, which has an elevation of 62 feet (19 m), the state capital of Sacramento, which has an elevation of 30 feet (9 m), and San Jose, which has an elevation of 82 feet (25 m). The elevation of San Francisco matches closely with many of these other big cities.