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Washington is a US state located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, and was admitted to the United States in 1889 as the forty second state. What’s interesting is that it was originally part of the Washington Territory which was controlled by Great Britain until 1846, when the entire territory south of the 49th parallel was ceded to the United States as a settlement for the Oregon Boundary Dispute. According to an official US Census Bureau estimate conducted in 2009 the population of the state was over 6.6 million.

Geographically Washington is split up into three different, unique regions: the first and most heavily populated is in the west, which is characterized by heavy rainfall due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Over 70% of the entire state’s population lives in the western part of the state, with roughly 60% of the population of the state residing in the Seattle Metropolitan area, which is home to an internationally known arts community. In the center of the state are the Cascade Mountains, which divide the state west and east; on the eastern side of the state there is little rain due to the Cascade Mountains, and as such it is mostly a semi-arid desert. However, most of the crops that come out of the state are grown in the eastern portion despite the little rainfall.

Because of the Cascade Mountains dividing the state, it is usually easier to describe the climate of both sides separately. On the western side, rain is common, with average summer temperatures only getting into the low 80’s, while overnight lows typically drop down into the low 60’s. During the winter, however, average highs only reach into the low 50’s (sometimes lower), with average overnight lows hovering around the freezing point. On the eastern side, however, it’s a different story; average highs in the summer months can top out in the upper 80’s, while overnight lows slide down into the mid 60’s. During the winter, however, temperatures are even more severe than on the western side, with average highs only topping out in the mid-to-upper 40’s and overnight lows often in the 20’s.

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