France is a unitary sovereign state comprising territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories and is, due to its shape, often referred to in French as l’Hexagone ("The Hexagon"). The north and northwest have a temperate climate, while a combination of maritime influences, latitude, and altitude produce a varied climate in the rest of Metropolitan France. In the south-east, a Mediterranean climate prevails. In the west, the climate is predominantly oceanic with a high level of rainfall, mild winters, and warm summers. Inland, the climate becomes more continental with hot, stormy summers, colder winters, and less rain. The climate of the Alps and other mountainous regions is mainly alpine, with the number of days having temperatures below freezing over 150 per year and snow cover lasting for up to six months.