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Washington is part of a region known as the Pacific Northwest, a term which always includes Washington and Oregon and may or may not include some or all of the following, depending on the user's intent: Idaho, western Montana, northern California, British Columbia, and Alaska.The high mountains of the Cascade Range run north-south, bisecting the state.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.In the spring and summer, a high pressure anticyclone system dominates the north Pacific Ocean, causing air to spiral out in a clockwise fashion.
It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. Washington is sometimes referred to as Washington State to distinguish it from Washington, D. Approximately 60 percent of Washington's residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area, the center of transportation, business, and industry along Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean consisting of numerous islands, deep fjords, and bays carved out by glaciers.
The Cascade Range contains several volcanoes, which reach altitudes significantly higher than the rest of the mountains. Mount Rainier, the tallest mountain in the state, is 50 miles (80 km) south of the city of Seattle, from which it is prominently visible. 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. These deep forests, such as the Hoh Rainforest, are among the only temperate rainforests in the continental United States.
From the north to the south, these major volcanoes are Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Eastern Washington – the part of the state east of the Cascades – has a relatively dry climate, in distinct contrast to the west side.
Washington has over 1,000 dams, including the Grand Coulee Dam, built for a variety of purposes including irrigation, power, flood control, and water storage.
Washington was named after President George Washington by an act of the United States Congress during the creation of Washington Territory in 1853.