The Southern Oscillation greatly influences weather during the cold season. In addition to Western Washington and Eastern Washington, residents call the two parts of the state the "West side" and the "East side", "Wet side" and "Dry side", or "Timberland" and "Wheatland", the latter pair more commonly in the names of region-specific businesses and institutions. In 1778, British explorer Captain James Cook sighted Cape Flattery, at the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but Cook did not realize the strait existed. Washington does not have a stand-alone program for coastal zone management. Washington is a leading agricultural state. [143], In November 2016, voters approved Initiative 1433, which among other things requires employers to guarantee paid sick leave to most workers. VIEW BY REGION United States Alaska Great Plains Hawaii Mid-Atlantic Midwest Northeast Rocky Mountains South Southwest West The first recorded European landing on the Washington coast was by Spanish Captain Don Bruno de Heceta in 1775, on board the Santiago, part of a two-ship flotilla with the Sonora. Nine justices serve on the bench and are elected statewide. Due to Western Washington's large population, Democrats usually fare better statewide. This leads to border economic anomalies in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area. Hospitals exist across the state, but many of Washington's best-known medical facilities are located in and around Seattle. Washington has two distinct climate zones. Other industries that developed in the state included fishing, salmon canning and mining. The Cascade Mountain Range also impedes transportation. The state, which is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, Oregon to the south, Idaho to the east, and the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north, was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. July is the hottest month for Okanogan with an average high temperature of 88.7°, which ranks it as one of the hottest places in Washington. Projected outcomes. Native Americans lived on Indian reservations or jurisdictory lands such as the Colville Indian Reservation, Makah, Muckleshoot Indian Reservation, Quinault, Salish people, Spokane Indian Reservation, and Yakama Indian Reservation. [158] The state dance, adopted in 1979, is the square dance. Bus systems exist across the state, the busiest being King County Metro, located in Seattle and King County, with just above 122 million riders in 2017. There are five species of salmon that ascend the Western Washington area, from streams to spawn. Olympia is the state capital; the state's largest city is Seattle. Washington's ten representatives in the United States House of Representatives (see map of districts) as of the 2020 election are Suzan DelBene (D-1), Rick Larsen (D-2), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-3), Dan Newhouse (R-4), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5), Derek Kilmer (D-6), Pramila Jayapal (D-7), Kim Schrier (D-8), Adam Smith (D-9), and Marilyn Strickland (D-10). Mount Baker, near the state's northern border, is one of the snowiest places in the world. The remainder of the state consists of deep temperate rainforests in the west; mountain ranges in the west, central, northeast, and far southeast; and a semi-arid basin region in the east, central, and south, given over to intensive agriculture. [41], Washington has a variety of National Park Service units. Climate can mean the average weather for a particular region and time period taken over 30 years. [28], Forests cover about half the state's land area, mostly west of the North Cascades. Instead, we fulfill our national Coastal Zone Management Act requirements through a network of state laws and regulations. The state is divided into 49 legislative districts of equal population, each of which elects two representatives and one senator. Weeks may pass without a clear day. While the Puget Sound lowlands are known for clouds and rain in the winter, the western slopes of the Cascades receive larger amounts of precipitation, often falling as snow at higher elevations. Major factors determining Washington's climate include the large semi-permanent high pressure and low pressure systems of the north Pacific Ocean, the continental air masses of North America, and the Olympic and Cascade mountains. [117], Washington ranks second in the United States in the production of wine, behind only California. [105] At over 80 percent the state has significant amounts of hydroelectric power generation. Similarly, Washington voters approved a 2008 referendum on legalization of physician-assisted suicide, and is currently one of only five states, along with Oregon, California, Colorado and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia to have legalized the practice. Find your USDA zone using these state maps. During winter months some of these passes are plowed, sanded, and kept safe with avalanche control. Depending on the season, you're bound to spot plenty of wildlife, including pods of orca whales. They moved west in the second wave of the Great Migration left a high influence in West Coast rock music and R&B and soul in the 1960s, including Seattle native Jimi Hendrix, a pioneer in hard rock, who was of African American and Cherokee Indian descent. Washington has a number of seaports on the Pacific Ocean, including Seattle, Tacoma, Kalama, Anacortes, Vancouver, Longview, Grays Harbor, Olympia, and Port Angeles. Baker Holds Snowfall Record, NOAA Reports", "Western Regional Climate Data Center, Centralia", "Western Regional Climate Data Center, Longview", National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "Rainier Paradise Ranger Station, Washington", "Seattle Tacoma International Airport, Washington", "The Diversity of Washington's Forests—Washington Forestland Ownership", "Introduced Wildlife of Oregon and Washington", "Species Fact Sheets—Reptiles and Amphibians", "Listing of National Park System Areas by State", "Alphabetic list of Washington State Parks", "Land Areas of the National Forest System", "Kennewick Man Skeletal Find May Revolutionalize Continent's History", "A Major Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest Looks Even Likelier", "Smallpox epidemic ravages Native Americans on the northwest coast of North America in the 1770s", "The Creation of Washington: Securing Democracy North of the Columbia", "Washington is admitted as the 42nd state to the United States of America on November 11, 1889", "Mount St. Helens: Senator Murray Speaks on the 25th Anniversary of the May 18, 1980 Eruption", "Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument", "Table 62. The Seattle–Tacoma area has five major hospitals: Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical Center, Swedish Medical Center, MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, and St. Joseph Medical Center. The legislation required individuals to obtain health insurance or face penalties, and required employers to provide insurance to employees. [97], Major religious affiliations of the people of Washington are:[99], The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Roman Catholic Church, with 784,332; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with 282,356;[100] and the Assemblies of God, with 125,005. Washington was considered a key swing state in 1968, and it was the only western state to give its electoral votes to Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey over his Republican opponent Richard Nixon. As of December 2014, there are 124 broadband providers offering service to Washington state; 93 percent of consumers have access to broadband speeds of 25/3Mbit/s or more. Due to Congressional redistricting as a result of the 2010 Census, Washington gained one seat in the United States House of Representatives. [citation needed], Sound Transit Link light rail currently operates in the Seattle area at a length of 20 miles (32 km), and in Tacoma at a length of 1.6 miles (2.6 km). [17], Western Washington also is home of the Olympic Mountains, far west on the Olympic Peninsula, which support dense forests of conifers and areas of temperate rainforest. Washington businesses are responsible for various other state levies, including the business and occupation tax (B & O), a gross receipts tax which charges varying rates for different types of businesses. However, the estate tax is de-coupled from the federal estate tax laws, and therefore, the state imposes its own estate tax. [116] Washington produces seven principal varieties of apples which are exported to more than sixty countries. It includes large areas of semiarid steppe and a few truly arid deserts in the rain shadow of the Cascades; the Hanford reservation receives an average annual precipitation of 6 to 7 inches (150 to 180 mm). The Palouse southeast region of Washington was grassland that has been mostly converted into farmland, and extends to the Blue Mountains.[20]. Just click on the picture to see the full-size map. These proposals failed to garner support. Washington's marine highway constitutes a fleet of twenty-eight ferries that navigate Puget Sound and its inland waterways to 20 different ports of call, completing close to 147,000 sailings each year. To the west of Washington lies the Pacific Ocean. ), and tourism (Alaska Airlines, Expedia, Inc.). The region around eastern Puget Sound developed heavy industry during the period including World War I and World War II, and the Boeing company became an established icon in the area. The state song is "Washington, My Home", the state bird is the American goldfinch, the state fruit is the apple, and the state vegetable is the Walla Walla sweet onion. [50] Additionally, there are 143 state parks and 9 national forests, run by the Washington State Park System and the United States Forest Service. While the population of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest is scarce overall, they are mostly concentrated in the South End and Central District areas of Seattle, and in inner Tacoma. 301.3.1 Warm humid criteria. [103][104] The minimum wage as of January 1, 2020 was $13.50 an hour, the second highest of any state or district in the country behind Washington D.C at $14.00 an hour. [92] But it was in the late 20th century, that large-scale Mexican immigration and other Latinos settled in the southern suburbs of Seattle, with limited concentrations in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties during the region's real estate construction booms in the 1980s and 1990s. From Seattle, take the ferry to the San Juan Islands – the San Juan Islands enjoy an average of 250 days per year of sunshine, so this is a great year-round activity. This is especially true of King County, home to Seattle and almost a third of the state's population. [88] The Vietnamese and Filipino populations of Washington are mostly concentrated within the Seattle metropolitan area. Property tax was the first tax levied in the state of Washington, and its collection accounts for about 30% of Washington's total state and local revenue. Rainier the most dangerous volcano in the Cascade Range, due to its proximity to the Seattle metropolitan area, and most dangerous in the continental U.S. according to the Decade Volcanoes list. Resolution of the territorial and treaty issues, west to the Pacific, was deferred until a later time. Elementary and secondary schools are under the jurisdiction of the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). [39] Common trees and plants in the region are camassia, Douglas fir, hemlock, penstemon, ponderosa pine, western red cedar, and many species of ferns. Washington is one of the wealthiest and most socially liberal states in the country. © 2020 USATODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. The entire system has a funded expansion plan that will expand light rail to a total of 116 miles by 2041. There are extensive waterways around Washington's largest cities, including Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma and Olympia. 2. Justine Harrington is a freelance travel journalist (and lifelong wanderer) based in Austin, Texas. There are 9 climate zones in the contiguous United States, and 10 including the tropical climate zone of Hawaii. Alternatively you can search for your zone by county through’s here. Mild, humid, summer days west of the Cascades rarely rise above 26°C (79°F), and winter days seldom drop below 8°C (46°F) while the east of the state has warm summers and cool winters. Washington does not collect inheritance taxes. The current statewide elected officials are: The bicameral Washington State Legislature is the state's legislative branch. And, foodie travelers, take note: plan to visit Seattle during sunny July to take advantage of Seattle's biggest and best food festival, the Seattle Street Food Festival. Current local time in USA – Washington – Seattle. A 2004 study of 40 mothers from Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Montana found PBDEs in the breast milk of every woman tested. [122], U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington 2nd nationally for household internet access, and 6th for online download speed, based on data from 2014 and 2015. IECC climate zone map. Average annual rainfall in Washington is 38.15 inches, which ranks high compared to other U.S. states. Washington has a relatively strong economy, with a total gross state product of $569.449 billion in 2018, placing it 10th in the nation and growing by 5.7 percent per year—the fastest rate in the United States. Just as the Pacific Ocean and Olympic Mountains influence Western Washington, the Cascade Range affects the weather and climate in the eastern part of the state. Explorer David Thompson, on his voyage down the Columbia River, camped at the confluence with the Snake River on July 9, 1811, and erected a pole and a notice claiming the country for Great Britain and stating the intention of the North West Company to build a trading post at the site. 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