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Severn, Maryland, is a census-designated place (CDP) located in Anne Arundel County. This suburban community, situated between Baltimore and Annapolis, is known for its rich history, diverse climate, and distinct geographical features. The following article delves into the historical development, climatic conditions, and geographical characteristics of Severn, providing an in-depth look at this unique area in Maryland.


The history of Severn, Maryland, is deeply intertwined with the broader historical narrative of Anne Arundel County and the state of Maryland. The area that is now Severn was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Piscataway and Susquehannock. European settlers began to arrive in the 17th century, with the establishment of the Maryland Colony by English Catholics seeking religious freedom.

Severn’s early history is marked by agriculture and plantation life, similar to much of the surrounding region. Tobacco farming was a dominant economic activity in the 17th and 18th centuries, facilitated by the labor of enslaved Africans. The fertile land and access to waterways made it an ideal location for plantations, which were central to the area's economy and social structure.

During the 19th century, the region saw gradual changes with the decline of the tobacco economy and the rise of other forms of agriculture and industry. The construction of railroads in the mid-19th century, particularly the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, brought significant changes to the area. Improved transportation links made it easier to move goods and people, contributing to the growth of towns and communities in Anne Arundel County, including Severn.

The Civil War era brought its own challenges and transformations. Maryland, a border state, experienced internal divisions over the issues of slavery and secession. Although Maryland remained in the Union, the war had significant social and economic impacts on the region. Post-war, the abolition of slavery led to significant changes in the labor force and agricultural practices.

The early 20th century saw further development in Severn, as suburbanization began to take hold. The advent of the automobile and improved road infrastructure facilitated the growth of residential communities. The establishment of Fort Meade in 1917, a major U.S. Army installation, had a profound impact on the area. The fort brought military personnel, civilian workers, and their families to the region, spurring housing development and economic growth.

Throughout the mid-20th century, Severn continued to grow as part of the suburban expansion around Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The construction of major highways, including Interstate 97 and Maryland Route 32, improved accessibility and made Severn an attractive location for commuters. Residential developments, schools, and commercial centers sprang up to accommodate the growing population.

In recent decades, Severn has evolved into a diverse and vibrant community. The area has seen significant demographic changes, with an influx of people from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds. This diversity is reflected in the local schools, businesses, and community organizations. Severn’s growth has been managed with an emphasis on maintaining a balance between development and preserving the natural environment.

Today, Severn is known for its strong sense of community, excellent educational institutions, and convenient location. The presence of Fort Meade and the National Security Agency (NSA) continues to influence the local economy, providing employment opportunities and fostering a culture of innovation and technology. Severn’s history is a testament to its resilience and adaptability, reflecting broader trends in American suburban development while maintaining a unique local identity.


Severn, Maryland, experiences a humid subtropical climate, characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters. The climate is influenced by its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay, which moderates temperature extremes and contributes to the overall weather patterns of the region.

Spring in Severn, from March to May, is marked by gradually warming temperatures and blooming flora. Average high temperatures in early spring range from the 50s to 60s Fahrenheit (10-20°C), rising to the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit (20-30°C) by late spring. Spring is also a relatively wet season, with frequent rain showers contributing to the lush greenery of the area.

Summer, from June to August, is characterized by hot and humid conditions. Average high temperatures typically range from the 80s to 90s Fahrenheit (27-35°C), with occasional heatwaves pushing temperatures even higher. Humidity levels are high, making the air feel warmer than the actual temperature. Thunderstorms are common in the afternoons and evenings, providing relief from the heat and replenishing local water sources.

Fall (autumn) in Severn, from September to November, brings cooler temperatures and vibrant fall foliage. Average high temperatures in early fall range from the 70s to 80s Fahrenheit (20-27°C), gradually decreasing to the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit (10-20°C) by late fall. The crisp air and colorful leaves make fall a popular time for outdoor activities and community events.

Winter, from December to February, is mild to cool, with occasional cold snaps and snowfall. Average high temperatures in winter range from the 30s to 40s Fahrenheit (0-10°C), with overnight lows often dipping below freezing. Snowfall varies from year to year, with some winters seeing significant snow accumulation and others experiencing only light snow or none at all. Winter storms, though infrequent, can bring snow and ice, affecting travel and daily life.

Overall, Severn’s climate is conducive to a variety of outdoor activities throughout the year. The area’s parks, trails, and waterfront locations provide residents with ample opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of the region. The changing seasons also bring a diversity of experiences, from summer boating and fishing on the nearby Chesapeake Bay to winter hikes in local parks.

Climate change is a growing concern for the Severn community, as it is for many regions. Projections indicate that the area may experience more extreme weather events, such as heatwaves and heavy rainfall, as well as rising sea levels that could impact coastal areas. Local government and community organizations are actively engaged in efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing resilience, and protecting natural resources.


Severn is located in northwestern Anne Arundel County, Maryland, approximately midway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The community covers an area of about 17.7 square miles (45.8 square kilometers), characterized by a mix of residential, commercial, and natural landscapes.

The topography of Severn is relatively flat to gently rolling, with elevations ranging from sea level along the creeks and rivers to about 200 feet (60 meters) above sea level in the higher areas. This varied landscape includes wooded areas, open fields, and residential neighborhoods, contributing to the community’s scenic beauty and diverse outdoor experiences.

Severn is bordered by several notable geographical features. To the east, the Patapsco River and its tributaries form natural boundaries, providing opportunities for water-based recreation and wildlife observation. The nearby Severn River, to the south, is another significant waterway, known for its picturesque waterfront and recreational activities such as boating and fishing.

The Patuxent Research Refuge, located to the southwest of Severn, is a significant natural landmark. This wildlife refuge covers over 12,000 acres and provides habitat for a variety of plant and animal species. It is a popular destination for hiking, birdwatching, and environmental education, offering residents and visitors a chance to connect with nature.

Severn is predominantly residential, with a mix of housing styles ranging from historic homes and mid-century residences to modern developments. The community is known for its well-maintained neighborhoods, tree-lined streets, and spacious lots. Many homes in Severn are located near parks, schools, and other amenities, contributing to the area’s family-friendly atmosphere.

The commercial and retail centers of Severn are primarily concentrated along major roadways, including Maryland Route 170 (Telegraph Road) and Maryland Route 175 (Annapolis Road). These corridors are home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and service businesses, providing residents with convenient access to everyday necessities and leisure activities. The Arundel Mills shopping mall, located nearby in Hanover, is a major retail and entertainment destination for the region.

Educational institutions are a vital part of Severn’s geography. The community is served by the Anne Arundel County Public Schools system, which includes several elementary, middle, and high schools. The proximity of these schools to residential areas makes them accessible for families, enhancing the community’s appeal to those with children. Severn is also close to several higher education institutions, including the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and Anne Arundel Community College, providing opportunities for advanced education and lifelong learning.

Recreational opportunities abound in Severn, with numerous parks, trails, and sports facilities available to residents. Severn-Danza Park, a large community park, offers athletic fields, playgrounds, and picnic areas, making it a popular destination for families and sports enthusiasts. The BWI Trail, a multi-use trail that circles the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, is a favorite spot for walking, jogging, and cycling.

In conclusion, Severn, Maryland, is a community with a rich historical background, a diverse climate, and unique geographical features. Its development from a rural area to a thriving suburban community has been shaped by its natural beauty, strategic location, and commitment to preserving its heritage while embracing growth and modernization. Severn’s climate and geography offer residents a high quality of life, with ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, cultural engagement, and community involvement. As Severn continues to evolve, it remains a cherished part of Anne Arundel County, attracting new residents and visitors with its charm and vitality.

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