Geography of Madison, Mississippi

By | March 8, 2024

Madison, Mississippi, located in the central part of the state and considered part of the Jackson metropolitan area, exhibits a diverse geography shaped by its position within the Southeastern United States, surrounding waterways, and a humid subtropical climate. Understanding the geography of Madison involves exploring its physical features, climate, and environmental context in detail.

Geographical Location:

Madison is located in Madison County, Mississippi, approximately 12 miles north of Jackson, the state capital. The city is centrally located within the state, making it an important hub for commerce, industry, and residential development in the region. Madison’s location within the Jackson metropolitan area places it within the heart of Mississippi’s urban and suburban landscape.


The topography of Madison is characterized by its gently rolling hills, typical of the Southeastern United States. The city sits at an elevation of approximately 330 feet (100 meters) above sea level, with the surrounding landscape consisting of woodlands, open fields, and residential neighborhoods.

To the north and east of Madison, the terrain gradually rises into the uplands of central Mississippi, known as the East Central Hills. These uplands are characterized by their gently rolling hills, mixed forests, and fertile soils, supporting a variety of agricultural activities and wildlife habitats.

To the west and south of Madison lies the Pearl River watershed, a major drainage basin that flows through central Mississippi. The Pearl River and its tributaries provide important freshwater resources for the region, supporting recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing.


Madison’s geography is defined by its location near several important waterways, including the Pearl River and its tributaries. The Pearl River serves as a central feature of the region’s landscape, providing important freshwater resources for drinking water, recreation, and transportation.

In addition to the Pearl River, Madison is located near several smaller waterways, including creeks, streams, and tributaries that flow into the Pearl River and its watershed. These waterways contribute to the region’s overall hydrology and provide habitat for fish, amphibians, and aquatic plants.


Madison experiences a humid subtropical climate, characterized by four distinct seasons, with hot, humid summers and relatively mild winters. The region’s climate is influenced by its inland location, proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, and subtropical weather patterns.

Summer temperatures in Madison are typically warm to hot, with average high temperatures ranging from the upper 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit (around 31-34 degrees Celsius). However, temperatures can occasionally exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) during periods of high heat and humidity. Summer evenings are generally warm and muggy, with overnight lows in the 70s Fahrenheit (around 21-26 degrees Celsius).

Winter temperatures in Madison are relatively mild, with average high temperatures ranging from the upper 50s to low 60s Fahrenheit (around 15-17 degrees Celsius) and lows in the 30s to 40s Fahrenheit (around 1-7 degrees Celsius). Snowfall is rare in Madison, with the region receiving minimal accumulation during the winter months.

Spring and fall are transitional seasons characterized by fluctuating temperatures and changing weather patterns. These seasons offer mild weather and moderate precipitation, making them ideal times to enjoy outdoor activities and events in Madison.


Madison receives moderate precipitation throughout the year, with the majority of rainfall occurring during the spring and summer months. Annual precipitation totals in Madison average around 50 to 55 inches (around 127 to 140 centimeters), with most of the precipitation falling as rain during the warmer months.

Thunderstorms are common in Madison, particularly during the spring and summer months when atmospheric instability and moisture combine to produce convective storms. These storms can bring heavy rain, strong winds, hail, and occasional lightning, posing risks to outdoor activities and agriculture in the region.

Natural Hazards:

Madison is susceptible to a variety of natural hazards, including severe weather events such as thunderstorms, tropical storms, and occasional flooding. Thunderstorms are a common occurrence in the region, particularly during the spring and summer months, and can bring heavy rain, strong winds, hail, and occasional lightning. Tropical storms and hurricanes can also pose risks to residents and property in Madison, particularly during the Atlantic hurricane season from June to November.

Flooding is another potential hazard in Madison, particularly along the banks of the Pearl River and its tributaries. Heavy rainfall, storm surges, and flash flooding can cause the river to overflow its banks, posing risks to low-lying areas and infrastructure in the region.

Vegetation and Wildlife:

The natural vegetation of Madison and its surrounding areas consists primarily of mixed forests, woodlands, and wetlands, characteristic of the Southeastern United States. Native plant species include oak, pine, hickory, magnolia, and various species of shrubs adapted to the region’s climate and soil conditions.

Madison is home to a diverse array of wildlife adapted to the region’s terrestrial and aquatic habitats, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Common mammal species include deer, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, and various species of rodents. Birdwatchers can spot a wide range of avian species, including songbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and migratory birds passing through the region.

The region’s forests, woodlands, and wetlands provide important habitat for wildlife, supporting a variety of species adapted to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Wetlands and riverside habitats along the Pearl River and its tributaries support a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl, shorebirds, and other bird species.

Environmental Conservation:

Madison is committed to environmental conservation and sustainable development practices aimed at preserving its natural resources and promoting responsible stewardship of the environment. The city collaborates with local organizations, government agencies, and community stakeholders to develop and implement initiatives that support conservation goals and promote environmental awareness.

Efforts to protect and restore natural habitats, manage water quality, and conserve wildlife are priorities for Madison’s sustainability initiatives. The city also participates in regional conservation efforts aimed at preserving open space, protecting sensitive habitats, and promoting environmental education and outreach programs for residents and visitors.